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Feb 03 2021

Student Spotlight: Raigan

Student Spotlight

Student Raigan

Everyone has a story to tell, and I would like to tell you mine. My name is Raigan. I am twenty years old, and I am in the high school equivalency (HSE) program through The Literacy Alliance in Wells County.

To start, I would like to talk about my experience with school. As I stated previously, I was a very good student in school. I always made the honor roll with straight A’s. I finished my sophomore year with thirty-one credits. I always loved school. I loved learning, but at the start of my junior year, I was battled with severe anxiety and depression; this made me struggle through my first semester. I was also struggling to put myself first as my boyfriend was not a good student in school. I always wanted to see him succeed and do his best. So, before the end of the first semester of my junior year, I transferred to online schooling. This helped me a lot to manage my anxiety and depression and help my boyfriend. I was doing well in my online school, and my boyfriend graduated! My online school counselor was always adding classes to my course board, and after two long years of struggling with my online school, they finally “allowed” me to graduate and sent me a diploma. I graduated with seventy-three credits. In August of 2019, I decided to join the Marine Corps. I went to MEPs to take the official ASVAB and to swear in. When I handed them my diploma, they could not accept it because it did not have a school seal. I was so devastated. My recruiter and I called and set up a meeting with the superintendent of the online school. It was in Indianapolis, which was a four-hour drive. We arrived to find the office empty, but a woman finally came to the door after knocking repeatedly.  She told us that my online school was being shut down and sued for fraudulent schooling. When we asked to have my school transcripts to show all the courses I completed, the woman handed us my original transcript from Southern Wells. This was a huge setback and very upsetting.

Despite everything, I overcame the many obstacles I was facing. A few weeks after my daughter was born, I started thinking about our futures. I thought that if she grew up and found out that I never finished high school, she would think that it would be okay for her to do the same or to quit things without finishing them. I also thought about the kind of lifestyle I wanted for her. These things motivated me to take the next steps to have a successful future for her and myself. So, I began searching where, when, and how much the HSE courses and tests were. I called The Literacy Alliance, and the woman that answered the phone provided me with the answers I was looking for. A few days later, my mom informed me that they offer the classes here in Bluffton at the library. I called and got more information about the classes, set up a meeting with TC (one of TLA’s site coordinators), and then began taking my placement tests. After finishing all my tests, TC and my teacher, Kami, informed me I had tested at the highest level for reading and language. Then, they told me I finished in the second-highest level for math! These comments made me proud of myself. In the short few weeks that I have been in the HSE program, I have refreshed my memory on many different math skills. Now, I am scheduled to take the HSE test in one short week. I have come very far in one month, and I am coming closer to achieving my semi life-long goals of becoming a pediatric anesthetist.

In my later years of high school and early adulthood, I was struggling. After having my daughter, it made me realize I had to do better for her. Now I am on the path to reaching my goals. I had to jump through many hoops and maneuver around obstacles to get where I am today. My daughter is worth it all, and I would do it over and over again for her. She has had a really big impact on my life, and even though she is only three months old, she is really helping me see what I need to do not only for her future but mine as well.

Now that I have passed my HSE test, I will move toward my final goal of attending college. I look forward to being in the career I have always wanted. To me, my daughter and boyfriend are my biggest motivators, and I would do anything to see the two of them happy or to see them succeed. Who or what is the biggest motivator in your life? Who or what made you take the turn in the right direction? I have found the path towards reaching my goals, and I hope that you will as well.

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