The first graduate of the Indiana Workforce Diploma program didn’t know she was a trailblazer.
She’d enrolled in the free, accredited, online program after learning that a high school credential she’d earned a long time ago wasn’t from an accredited school.
“It was a shock, for sure, and a real setback,” Jamie said.
But as she searched for a new job, she knew it wasn’t going to do her any good to lament what had happened in the past, “so I just got to work.”
An internet search brought her to the program for working-age adults. Within days, she was enrolled.
It was a lot of work. Jamie needed to complete nearly 20 classes to earn her diploma, “so I wrote myself a letter every day about what I was going to get done that day, and I worked nights and weekends to get it done.”
She took classes in geometry, algebra, digital literacy, government and more. Along the way, she even earned a workforce skills certificate in logistics.
Shortly after finishing her courses, Jamie learned she was the first student in the state to earn the new workforce diploma. Since then, she’s been joined by more than a dozen other Hoosiers who made the decision to return to school and finish what they’d started.
It felt good to learn she was trailblazer — but not as good as it felt to tell her three kids.
“They’re so proud of me,” she said. “It was a little uncomfortable to have to tell them at first that I had to go back to school for my real diploma, but once they saw how driven I was, they understood.”
When life hands you a setback, Jamie said, you can complain about it or you can get to work. “And I just chose to get to work.”
Graduation Alliance partners with school districts, workforce agencies and various other organizations to help create alternative paths for individuals who need flexibility and support to earn a diploma. To learn more about our services, click here.