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The Amazing Way One Question Changed a Student’s Life Direction

August 4th, 2022
Student working on a laptop

“I never thought I’d be here,” she says, “I definitely didn’t think I’d make it this far.” Shawntee is a Grad Solutions student who graduated in July 2022. After being enrolled for two years, she has attained something she never thought she would —a high school diploma. 

Like most things in life, it took some hard work to reach the place she is today. Getting a diploma requires time, patience, persistence, and focus. It wasn’t easy but in the end, she pushed through to get it done. 

The Question That Changed It All

Shawntee grew up in an environment where few people graduated from high school. Of her 17 brothers and sisters, only one sister had graduated high school. She was not motivated to finish high school. She dropped out of school twice, once in seventh grade and again in ninth grade. After dropping out, she went to work so she could buy things she needed for herself. She had no intention of ever finishing school, except for the fact that she had one older brother who would ask her one simple question, “How’s school going?”

Benefits of a Flexible School Option

It was her brother’s straightforward question that prompted Shawntee to do something. “I didn’t want to disappoint him,” she says. She eventually enrolled at another online high school but was unable to meet the twenty-five hour per week seat requirement while working full-time.  Due to her family’s financial situation, she knew she could not afford to quit her job, so she started looking for another school option. While searching for an online school, her sister told her about Grad Solutions. Due to her brother’s prompting, she knew she needed to get back into school so she enrolled at Grad Solutions. That was two years ago. 

Pushing through a Lack of Motivation

While attending Grad Solutions, Shawntee admits that she was unmotivated a lot of the time. It was Sarah Arsenault, the Director of a resource center called The HUB, who pushed her to finish. “She gave me a list of classes and told me what to do. It was because of her [that I finished],” she says. At Sarah’s admonishments, she was driven to complete the list of classes. Between April and early June 2022, she finished six (6) units. To give some perspective, this usually takes six months to complete six units. There was one week when she logged forty-five hours of school work while working full-time.  “She never made me feel like she was disappointed in me,” says Shawntee about her mentor Sarah. 

Now that she has her diploma in hand, Shawntee is excited about what’s to come. She has been accepted into a dental assistant program through Y-Achievers and plans to start this month. It’s a two month program where she will learn about how to be a dental assistant. Her ultimate goal is to begin a career in the dental field. 

Shawntee’s journey proves that what seems impossible is completely possible. If you have a dream, go for it. It will take hard work and probably someone pushing you along the way, but you can make it happen! 

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