Jamila Owens

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    When I was in school as a child from elementary school on through high school, I moved around a lot. My mother and father separated when I was very young. My mother stayed in Alameda County and my father stayed in Contra Costa County.

    Every year I stayed with a different parent. Either it was Oakland with my mother or Richmond, Pinole, Hercules, El Sobrante or San Pablo with my father. All the moving around made things pretty difficult for me. I failed the second grade in Oakland; I did second grade twice at E, Morris Cox.

    By the time I made it to the fifth grade, I was acing everything. My father insisted I be promoted to the seventh grade. All through junior high school it was a struggle, but I moved on to high school. My sophomore year my mother told me she had AIDS. It devastated me. I stayed in school, but things were really hard. I began to fight a lot and was kicked out of Pinole Valley High. I then started going to Gompers Continuation School doing independent study. My last report card I received five A’s and one B. I became pregnant at the age of seventeen and my mother became gravely ill. I couldn’t take the pressure so I left school; that was over ten years ago.

    Now I’m here at the EOYDC and loving every minute of it. The Center has really made me see that it’s never too late to graduate. Everyone has been so supportive and uplifting. The Center has open doors for me as well as my family. I have given up many times before trying to get my GED, but since I started coming to the EOYDC, I haven’t wanted to give up once. Thank you, EOYDC.

    Jamila Owens
    2010 GED Graduate

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