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Indiana Adult Education Success Stories

Basic Skills. High School Equivalency. Short-term Training. Certifications and More.

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Teasia Evans

Teasia admits that life has not been easy for her. At the age of 20, she entered the criminal justice system. Six years later (last year) Teasia was released from prison. “While I always wanted my high school diploma, there were always obstacles that seemed to get in my way. My grandmother became extremely ill (and) I wanted her to see me get my high school diploma while she was still with me. Unfortunately, my grandmother died a few days before the test,” said Teasia.

“My heart was broken, but my spirit was STRONG,” she said. “With the help of my teacher, I signed up for the next available exam. The day before the exam, I found out I was being evicted from my place. I had so many emotions in me.”

“My teacher talked with me and we came up with several plans that we began to put into action. You should probably know that I passed every single subject. I know my grandmother would be so proud. This week I started the process to enroll at Ivy Tech. My housing situation is also beginning to look up. I hope others can come to this program with Marian University. Everyone really does care.”

Logan Keith

Logan had a difficult childhood. He said his parents were on drugs for as long as he can remember. This situation caused Logan to be the adult and take care of his parents, who at one point were homeless.

“My mother lost her battle to addiction three years ago and my father was in and out of prison. I quit school in 7th grade and said I would do online, but I did not participate. With trying to survive, education was not a priority. I was going down a bad path and was starting to get into trouble and doing some drugs as well. I moved in with my grandmother. Eventually, I started surrounding myself with better people and the right crowd.”

“I met my girlfriend and we ended up finding out she was pregnant, and I realized that I had to get my life on track and get myself together. I wanted to be a good parent and provide the life for my child that I wish I had growing up, so I jumped on board with the welding classes Turning Point offered. I am not going to lie, it has been a rough road, but it has been well worth it.”

“I am thankful for Turning Point and the opportunity they have given me to better myself and my family. I feel good about myself and I feel accomplished in making my grandmother and family proud of me. I know my mother is, as well.” Logan earned his welding certification and is earning $18.50 an hour at Great Dane.

Terri Garcia

Terri Garcia has always put her family first, but after a divorce and the death of her parents, it was time for Terri to focus on herself. She took a job at the University of Notre Dame and was introduced to the South Bend Adult Education program where she earned her high school equivalency (HSE).

While she took the HSE classes to better her own life, doing so also inspired two of her daughters.

Alessandra said the pride her mom showed when graduating inspired her to also pursue an HSE with South Bend. I have the best support system a girl could ever have with my family. I tried to get my HSE a few years ago, but my heart wasn't in it. Now it is, and it is full steam ahead,” she said.

Alessandra earned her HSE in May of 2022.

Terri’s other daughter, Melissa, had the same feeling. “Seeing my mother walk down that stage last year made me realize that if she can do it and succeed and make me feel proud of what she’s accomplished, then I can do the same and inspire the same feeling in my kids,” she said.

Gina Cambronne

Gina moved to Indianapolis from her native country of Haiti in search of a new life. “As soon as I moved to Indiana in June 2020, the major concern was finding a job to meet my needs. It was really a difficult time for me,” she said.

Gina relied on friends to get her around town, including to Warren Township Adult Education classes. “I will never forget my first weeks of class because fractions scared me, but (my teacher) did everything to make me understand. They allowed me to succeed.”

Gina began working at an Indianapolis-area senior care center. “I feel all the doors are open to me that would have been closed if I didn’t go to Warren adult education. I see life smiling at me, and I feel on my way to a new phase.”

Mukhtar Abakar

Mukhtar came to the U.S. on a DV Visa lottery from Sudan in 2017. Before leaving his home country, he graduated from Sudan University of Science and Technology with a diploma in mechanical engineering. “I got a job, and two months later I got a driver’s license,” he said. “My uncle also told me about English classes.”

That’s when Mukhtar enrolled in adult English classes at Fort Wayne Community Schools.

“I started in the beginning level and have worked my way up to the advanced class,” Mukhtar said. “I am so grateful for all the teachers and the team here at Anthis that have helped me learn English, how to apply for jobs, and have taught me about all the resources in the city.”

He plans to earn his high school equivalency (HSE) and become an auto mechanic after completing an Ivy Tech program.

Marie Florestal

Marie is a full-time employee at Heartland Food Products Group and attends Washington Township adult education English classes. Growing up in Haiti, she only attended school for five years. Her teacher, Diane Cargile, said, “Marie initially struggled with reading.”

Not only has her English and reading improved, but she has picked up a valuable 21st century skill: digital literacy. A week-long compliance training program took Marie only three days to finish. She transferred those computer skills to complete her employment requirements and training on the programs that Heartland uses. “We did not think she was going to make it here,” said a Heartland Food training specialist, “but after enrolling and attending ELL classes each week, we have seen tremendous improvement.”

Rachel Dejarnatt

Rachel was taken out of school after eighth grade. “My family is Amish – which is why I never graduated high school.” When she turned 18, she left the family’s LaGrange, Ind. farm and started working at an RV factory.

After meeting her husband and traveling, Rachel and her spouse decided to move back to northeast Indiana. “I knew I must take advantage of the fact that I finally had the chance to work on advancing my education, so I made a phone call. The helpful people at Impact Institute gave me the courage and confidence to step back inside the classroom after so many years had passed.”
Rachel hopes that obtaining her high school equivalency (HSE) will lead to an even higher level of education.

Alice Kerrigan

Despite leaving school after sixth grade, Alice worked various jobs as an adult. “After losing both my parents in 2020, I realized how short life is and that none of us are promised tomorrow.”

She was determined to better provide for her family and find a higher earning job. “Success is about taking care of those we love. Success is moving forward in the middle of adversity.”

Alice passed the exam and earned her HSE. “I am thankful for my children, my friends, and my teachers who believed in me and never gave up on me.”

Emily Stiles

A decade ago, Emily was on track to graduate high school but dropped out after tragedy struck her family. “My dad was murdered.” Afterwards, her mom left, and Emily had to support herself by working two jobs. “I felt so alone,” she said.

When she had a son, she had disagreements many parents have with their young children. “He did not want to go to school. The thought went through my mind that I needed to be an example for my son.”

Emily enrolled in classes at New Castle Adult Education where she says staff encouraged and supported her. She passed the high school equivalency (HSE) exam on her first try.

“Since I earned my diploma, I received a job offer at our local hospital. With this job, my son and I will no longer have to be in survival mode. I won’t have to worry about whether I will have a place to sleep. It will make being a mother so much easier.”

Jhenna Adams

Jhenna has faced challenges with addiction and mental health, and has been hospitalized in tough times. But the mother of three boys was determined to find a more fulfilling life for her and her family.

“I obtained my driver’s license for the first time in my life and then was determined to see if I could get my high school equivalency (HSE) diploma. That’s when I saw a story on the news about The Literacy Alliance and decided to check it out.”

Jhenna said the team at Literacy Alliance was helpful and encouraging the entire way, and not only has she earned her HSE but she is also enrolled in Ivy Tech’s culinary arts program. She even won a student competition that earned her the opportunity to travel to Europe.

To see additional success stories from the IN Adult Education program check here:   Success Story Archives

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