Erica Haskins

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    I did not graduate or receive a high school diploma. I struggled as a child and teenager with constant relocation within foster care under the guardianship of the court system. I went from school to school and never settled long enough to complete a full year or even semester in some cases. I became a run away at age 13 and could not attend school without the risk of being found. I eventually turned myself in and returned to school. Again, the foster care system just wasn’t working for me and again I chose to run away. At age 15, I became pregnant with my son. I did not want to be a bad example for him or risk losing him due to my delinquent actions, so again I turned myself in. I attended regularly an independent studies program once weekly for approximately one hour. I then had dilemmas with my transportation and childcare. By this time, I had turned 18 years and school was no longer a priority for me. I needed to find work to support myself and family.

    I honestly thought I could do just as well with out my diploma as I could with one. Then reality set in. I could not find a job almost anywhere to take care of my family which having a job is the reason I set school aside. No one wants to hire someone these days without at high school diploma or G.E.D. what else was I to do? I didn’t finish school to work, but now I can’t work because I didn’t finish school. At that moment I said, no excuses for me anymore. I’m going to school and I’m going to finish school not only for me but for my son.

    I chose to relocate to Oakland, California with my grandparents, and a goal I wasn’t going to procrastinate on any longer was to get my G.E.D.
    I was recommended by a Ms. Irene Atkins to attend East Oakland Youth Development Center. I am so glad I did. E.O.Y.D.C. is such a great place. The staff there is great, helpful and friendly. The children really enjoy spending their time there and the Center has so many great things and activities to do for our youth. I attended the G.E.D. preparation program with teacher Ms. Anana Scott. She is absolutely wonderful. She by far is the best teacher I have ever had. She’s very wise, encouraging, patient, kind hearted and very determined to give all she’s got to insure her students succeed. She definitely gives you courage and confidence that you can do it. If it wasn’t for Ms. Anana I wouldn’t have made the biggest change in my life I have made yet by successfully completing my G.E.D. She did everything possible to make sure I finished. She declined my every excuse to give up, and had she let me, I wouldn’t have finished nor would I be the role model I am today for my son. Ms. Anana has truly motivated me not only to finish my G.E.D. but to further pursue my education. She has helped me open up doors to my future and I will forever be grateful to Ms. Anana and E.O.Y.D.C.

    Erica Haskins

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