My name is Joann Morris. I am a student in the ABLE program at Washington State Community College. I am writing in response to a letter you printed in the Sept. 24 paper. I am hoping in my writing this letter and telling my story, that more people will take advantage of this wonderful program. Also, so that they won't feel embarrassed or ashamed about not having their high school diploma, and that there are people out there who care and want to help you achieve your goals in life.
I am 33 years old. My graduating class was in 1996. I completed 12 years of school; I had passing grades, and all of my credits. But at the time, we were required to pass the Ohio Proficiency Test in order to graduate. I was unable to pass the math portion of this test. No matter how many times I tried, I just couldn't pass it. So no high school diploma for me. I will admit for years I was so mad and ashamed of myself because I lacked a diploma. I was the only person in my family who didn't graduate high school.
I have spent the last 14 years working minimum wage jobs, while all of my friends went to college and were working wonderful jobs that they love. Because of my pride, you could say, I was stupid. In my head, I felt I deserved my diploma and not a GED.
I have finally grown up and come to my senses. You are never too old to finish school or go to college.
As we all know, a minimum wage job just doesn't pay the bills! So I swallowed my pride and called Julie. I have to say, she was not what I expected. She was very kind and understanding. Don't get me wrong, as an instructor; she is very strict and demanding. She will not except any excuses as to why you can't do this, or be in class.
I have only been in this program since Aug. 6, but in this short time I have already taken my practice GED and passed all but the essay; which showed me that I can pass this test and go to college, just as Julie said!
In truth, I didn't believe her when she said I could do it. After years of trying to pass the Proficiency test and failing over and over again, I just truly didn't think that I could. Now I know that I can, and it's no longer a dream for me to go to college and get a job that I really love and enjoy.
If your afraid that the students at WSCC will treat you like your stupid because you are in this class, don't be. They are very nice and friendly to us. You have to remember we are all there to reach the same goal, to achieve an education. Be it your GED or an associate degree, it's all the same.