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Sometimes life just happens and, before you know it, you’ve tucked away your dreams. Maybe you think the time to make those dreams come true has come and gone. James Madison High School (JMHS) graduate Tina V. was one of those people. But after love, dropping out of high school, five children, and a divorce, Tina felt something missing from her life. She knew she was meant for more but, in order to make her dreams come true, Tina faced what seemed like a tremendous obstacle: she needed to earn her high school diploma. Fortunately, in her search for an online high school, she found JMHS. Below, in her own words, is Tina’s experience earning her high school diploma for adults and the positive changes having her high school degree has made in her life.
Hello, my name is Tina and I’m 36 years old. I dropped out of high school my senior year; fell in love and started a family. Now, after earning my degree, I’m an occupational therapist assistant (OTA) in Tulsa, OK and have five wonderful children.
As I got older, and after my divorce, I realized my life wasn't complete. I knew I wanted to either be a registered nurse or an occupational therapist. I decided to check into different colleges and the admissions department at one of the colleges told me to get my GED and come back and apply. I thought to myself, “GED? No, it’s my fault I dropped out, so I'm going to research different online high school diplomas” and I found JMHS.
It was important to me to earn a high school diploma because I have five children and I didn't want them to think that a GED was an easy way out. I have friends that got their GED but couldn't even make it through their prerequisites. They told me, "I haven't done this stuff in years; The GED didn't prepare me for college." Therefore I wasn’t going to take any chances with applying for my GED because I knew I needed to be prepared and JMHS prepared me very well.
I started JMHS in September, 2015 when I was 33 years old. On June 4, 2016, nine months after enrolling, I earned my adult high school diploma and started college on July 6, 2016. Looking back, enrolling in JMHS was one of the most pivotal, best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
I liked that the school was welcoming to older, adult students. I chose JMHS because it is self-paced and nationally/regionally accredited. Self-paced was important to me because I was taking care of all five of my children, helping them with homework, taking them to their extracurricular activities and, as single mother, I was the only one working.
My biggest hurdle was self-discipline while being a divorced, working, single mother of five children who were at the time, ages 3 through 12. While I was in school, I worked as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) helping patients with their activities of daily living (ADL), working weekend doubles (which is full-time on weekends) so that I could be there for my children during the week and do my own school work.
I overcame these difficulties with the support of the JMHS community. I never went a day feeling alone or lost while completing my work. There were a few times when money got really tight for me, but JMHS worked with me on payment plans so I could keep going.
I went straight to college after completing my online high school diploma. I completed my Associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy and now am an OTA. The work I do is important and I'm proud to tell people I went back for my high school diploma. None of this would have been possible without JMHS.
JMHS is so amazing that my oldest daughter who is now 15 asked me if I could take her out of traditional high school and enroll her in JMHS. Traditional high school has not been working for her. She said, “Mom, I know it costs money but I will pay you back. They really helped you. I remember. And you are always so proud to say you went to JMHS.”
So currently my daughter is enrolled in JMHS and absolutely loves it! Now the other four can't wait until they are old enough to go as well. If money is an issue for you, I encourage you to think of your long term goals. There's not a price on success. Success is created through determination and self discipline. Thanks again, JMHS!
Thanks to Tina for sharing her story and inspiring others who wonder if it’s “too late” to go back. (Hint: It never is.) We are continually inspired by our students like Tina who, even when it seems life is stacked against them, throw their hat back in the ring, understanding that life can hold more for them.
No matter what barriers you face, the caring admissions team, faculty, and staff at JMHS are here to answer questions and assist you on your journey to earn your high school diploma for adults. Enroll today or call us a 1-800-957-5412 with any questions. We're always here to help.