Hi, my name is Anna and I would like to share my story. When I was 17, in 2006, I became pregnant with my son. I dropped out of high school as I figured at the time it would be easier to earn my GED®. I was sadly wrong. It was harder. I took the exam two times prior to September 2008. I gave up and picked up little minimum wage jobs that just got me by.
In 2014, I gave birth to my daughter. Two months later, my son’s dad passed away at age 25. I then decided to go back to school and earn my high school diploma through an online school. That in itself was a challenge. I learned after completing my requirements that I couldn’t just go to any college in New York State. I was told the diploma I received was nothing more than a piece of paper. It was a scam.
In 2016, I decided to attend community college. With the permission of the local superintendent, I was able to attend college based on a letter that I complete four years of secondary education. However, I would still eventually need a high school equivalency (HSE) degree through New York State, as the online diploma I had wasn’t enough.
In summer 2018, I was dismissed from college due to not passing developmental math. I decided to attend another community college and take their math course. I failed. Not once, but twice. I finally passed at another community college in the fall of 2019, earning an A-.
My local BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services in New York State) placed me into the National External Diploma Program (NEDP). In December of 2019, I decided I wanted to take the TASC test to see if I could earn my HSE faster than waiting eight months or longer to complete the NEDP program. On January 15, 2020, I took the TASC exam. I was nervous. It had been a while since I used a science book or wrote a paper. I said a little prayer on my way to the testing site. I received all my scores except for writing within 24 hours. The writing results took a couple of days, but this past Tuesday, I found out I passed.
This was my first time taking the TASC test and I passed all five subjects. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to take and pass the test on the first try. I’m a strong believer in education, and nobody should have to pay for a high school diploma unless they attend a religious private school or boarding school. I can’t thank Robin DeLong at my local BOCES enough for pushing me to take the TASC test. I am currently down to my last few credits to earn my associate degree in criminal justice. I’m due to walk in May and finish six credits in the summer/fall of 2020. I am also pursuing my long-term goal of enlisting in the military, and I am supposed to swear into the United States Navy soon.