Jonesha Taylor

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    The twelfth grade year is usually the most stressful, yet exciting year all rolled into one. However, for me it was only stressful on top of more stress. The stress continued until I found out about the GED program at East Oakland Youth Development Center. EOYDC changed my life for the better.

    Throughout all my years of being a scholar, I was a fairly good student. When I graduated from junior high, I was full of enthusiasm always keeping in mind that I would be the third person on my father’s side of the family to graduate from high school. Someone told me that the high school I was going to attend was unorganized and dishonest. Many of my teachers didn’t have the right credentials, and I had new teachers every two weeks. My last year was the worst; I was told that because of my alleged “sleeping disorder”, I should complete certain classes at University Preparatory Academy(UPrep) where I could work at my own pace. I was told that once I finished the credits, I could then return to walk the stage with my original class at Fremont. The principal reneged on his negotiation and it was too late to go back to UPrep because they had closed down. Eventually, I enrolled in the independent study program at the Edward Shands Adult School. The only problem was I would have to start the twelfth grade year all over again. Everything was going great, then my teacher was murdered and was found in the back seat of his car. I was told that he had all the records of my work, and no one else on the campus kept copies.

    I was mentally exhausted and ready to give up. It seemed like every time I was a centimeter away from graduation, something terrible would happen. I was convinced that I would just be working at KFC for the rest of my life. I thought to myself that this wasn’t so bad since district managers earn more in a year than this nation’s President! Then my friend told me about the community center right across the street from my house. She said they had a GED program. Thinking back on the bad experiences I’ve had, I was skeptical. I still gave it a try, and in less than three weeks I was prepared and took the exam. I passed the exam and I just want to say thank you to Ms. Anana for giving me the confidence and encouragement to improve my life.

    Jonesha Taylor
    2008 Graduate

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