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I never finished high school…for the reason that at the time I was a different person who didn’t think that anything could be accomplished by getting a high school diploma. The lack of motivation and ignorance I had back then caused me to give up on my studies and give up on mostly everything else in life, and there was no real justification for it at all.
It is something that I have regretted for many years since then, but yet I have made a good living without my diploma; I put off thinking that I could always reach my potential and dreams not having it.
After thirteen years of traveling, working, making excuses and dreaming, I decided to do something about it. My love for photography has been a driving force in making this decision; my desire is to express myself through my photography in photojournalism. In order to do this I knew I would need to do what I had been putting off for so long.
Since I have moved to Oakland, I have met some of the most incredible people and heard so many life-changing stories, so I knew this was the place to make it happen. I suppose that fate had brought me to the East Oakland Youth Development Center to take the necessary preparations to get my GED and as of this moment, I know this to be true. Not only did they help me get prepared for taking the test, but also they gave me the most important preparation of all: confidence in myself. (Thank you, Ms. Jackie)
After taking the practice test, Ms. Anana Scott explained to me that she wanted me to take the test right away because she felt that I was already ready to pass and graduate! I was taken aback a little bit, but excited all the same, and in the end I walked with the class and passed all my tests, receiving my GED.
I am forever grateful to the EOYDC and the beautifully inspirational staff there that helped me achieve my goal and my dream of taking that next step to making a career out of my photography.
John Coyne, graduate 2008