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Ruby’s story: ‘It just all seemed too good to be true’

  • Danielle Stangler
  • November 25, 2019

It’s been months since Ruby earned her diploma, but she still lets out a little laugh every time she looks at it. 

“It makes me so happy,” she said, “but, to be honest, it just all seemed too good to be true.”

She had been out of school for more than 20 years when she learned about the Michigan 23+ adult diploma program — a free program that helps working age adults in Michigan earn a high school diploma and career path training. 

“My friend told me about it,” she said. “It just didn’t seem like it could be legit. The entire time I was in the program, I just kept wondering what the catch was. I didn’t want to be disappointed in the end. But it couldn’t hurt to try.” 

The longer she was in the program, the more she began to believe that it was really possible that she would eventually earn a high school degree.

“I just kept working,” she said. “And when I’d get discouraged, my academic coach, Vince, would talk me through it. He was my motivator, and I’m so thankful to him.”

Even when she passed her final class, though, Ruby wondered if it was all true. When her diploma arrived, she knew she’d made the right choice. 

“I felt really stuck,” she said. “And I know I still have a lot of work to do. I probably need to keep going in school and that’s what I want to do. But I can imagine a future now. A really good one. I haven’t been able to dream like that in a long time. I feel like I have more opportunities now. And now I’m going to go after them.” 

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