Hard work is paying off for 2 Adult Ed students with sights on college

Juan and Stephanie are shown in the photo reviewing at Forest View for their ILHSE certification.

Community Education is excited to highlight the efforts of two of its students who are working very hard to pass their high school equivalency tests in order to go to college. Here are their stories.

Stephanie first came to Community Education in the fall of 2015.  Stephanie, born in the United States, is the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and speaks both English and Spanish fluently.

Stephanie lives with her family in the Northwest suburbs.  She was unable to complete her high school education at a traditional high school for several reasons.  During her freshman year, Stephanie's family experienced the sudden death of a family member.  Later that year, Stephanie was diagnosed with medical issues and was bullied by her classmates, making the process of studying and enjoying the events of  high school, if not totally, unbearable.  Stephanie left high school during her junior year.

Stephanie is thoughtful, intelligent, and engaging, and with the support of her family, continues to pursue her educational goals.  She reads constantly and especially loves the Sci-Fi genre, something she shares with her father.  Between the time she left high school about five years ago and this fall, Stephanie focused on her health.  She found during this time that animals helped to significantly lower her anxiety levels.  Stephanie's goal is to obtain her ILHSE certificate (formerly called the GED certificate) and then attend college to become a veterinarian.

Due to our generous donors, Stephanie has made good use of the vouchers she has received from Community Education to take both the GED Ready® practice test and the GED® test. Stephanie is on track to receive her ILHSE certificate before the end of 2015.

Another success story is Juan who first came to Community Education in the fall of 2015.  Juan was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States with his mother and younger sister when he was seven years old.  He speaks English and Spanish fluently.

He left his high school in the Northwest suburbs when his mother became ill and was hospitalized for several weeks.  Upon her return home she was on bed rest for many months.  It was at this time Juan needed to leave his studies and obtain employment to pay the family’s rent and bills. Juan's younger sister graduated from high school in the spring of 2015, and his mother is now recovered and has returned to work.

Juan works more than 40 hours a week and attends classes three nights a week in pursuit of his ILHSE certificate (formerly called the GED certificate).  Juan would like to change jobs.  In order to do so, he must earn his ILHSE certificate.  Juan is also hoping to continue his education at the college level.  His career goal is to be a driver for an interstate trucking company.  His father was also a truck driver and died in a work-related crash when Juan was only three.  When asked why he wants to be a truck driver, Juan simply states that he enjoys driving.

The vouchers that Community Education provides Juan, and other classmates, help him greatly. Instead of paying $30.00 for one test module (there are four modules) he is able to use that money for food, bills, or to "take out my mom somewhere so she can enjoy a day with her son and daughter."

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