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May 26 2023

Student Spotlight: Arianna

Student Spotlight


This essay won Honorable Mentions for the 2nd Annual IAACE Essay Contest 

Hello, my name is Arianna; I am a 31- year- old single mother of three. I work full-time as a CNA in Fort Wayne. I decided that I wanted to be a CNA when I came out of high school. Thirteen years later, I am still doing it. I love what I do and taking care of my residents. They are like my family away from home, I always say. It has not been easy trying to return to school while having kids in school simultaneously. One of the biggest reasons I came to The Literacy Alliance is that I really want and need to graduate to get a degree in nursing. I attended Southside High School for all four years and have all 40 credits. I am very disappointed that I let my absenteeism get in the way of graduating. While I thought I was ok with all my credits, that wasn’t the case. I learned that I failed my math I-step, not knowing it would prevent me from graduating.

Being a full-time mother and full-time worker really weighed down on me trying to get my education. Not only that, but I also have three children in school now, so I really was intimidated about going back to school and working. I didn’t stop there. I want to say that over three years, I tried and tried to get back into school to get my diploma. With the work hours, kids’ schooling, and pick-ups, I wanted to give up. It seemed like I would never make it, and I almost gave up hope. As a mother, I would say the best thing for me and my children is to graduate and get on with my education, as some would say. Without an adult education, I can’t get into a college and get my degree.

When all hope was lost, I stumbled across a friend who was enrolled in TLA’s Project Graduate program, and I was impressed because she did the program and graduated. She gave me all the details, and I was ready to sign up. So, I researched, found the class, and signed up immediately. I’m not going to lie. I was scared to return to the classroom setting, and my anxiety almost took over. But I told myself this was it, and I am going to do this, and I am going to graduate. As of now, I have been attending the morning class, and I have so much help. The teachers are so helpful and motivating. I love it. Being back in a classroom wasn’t what I thought I would be doing, but I am grateful there are people out there willing to help me get the education I need to succeed.

My advice is never to say you can’t or it’s too late; never give up. There is no time limit on education, and it is up to you to get it done. Not only is this helping me and my future, but many of my peers are confident about getting their diplomas and learning new skills while doing it. Without The Literacy Alliance’s adult education program, I’m sure I wouldn’t be this far or confident about returning to school and being in a classroom again. That said, my next level is to graduate and get my diploma.

Project Graduate is preparing me for that. I will be continuing my education to be a nurse eventually. I have been in the medical field for 13 years and have had many different experiences that have prepared me for this goal. I’m very excited to be part of Project Graduate and ready to go further in my journey. Without adult education programs like The Literacy Alliance, I wouldn’t feel as confident or motivated as I do about the high school equivalency exam.

Arianna completed the first step and passed her high school equivalency (HSE) exam in April of 2023; we can’t wait to see what she will accomplish next!

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Student Spotlight: Nikki

Student Spotlight: Nikki 

May 26 2023

I ended up working dead-end and unfulfilled jobs to make ends meet. It was time to make a change for a better life for me and my son.

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