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Staci’s story: ‘You can be better’

  • Madison Schiefelbein
  • November 12, 2020

Nobody tried to talk Staci out of leaving school before earning a diploma. And even if they had, she probably would have left anyway.

She knew what it felt like to grow up without the support of her parents, and she didn’t want her siblings to have the same experience.

“I had to grow up at a very young age and learn to take care of myself,” she said. “I had very little interest in going to school because I am a caregiver by nature… I took care of my younger siblings.”

She didn’t look back. Not for a long time.

A decade had passed when Staci heard about the Indiana Workforce Diploma Program. “I felt like it was a sign from God,” she said, “because I was having an inner battle with myself about not feeling like I was being the best version of myself. I knew I needed to do better for my sons.”

Soon, she was re-enrolled in school. Today, she’s a high school graduate.

“I found it very appealing that I could work at my own pace in the comfort of my house,” she said. “I never really did well in a traditional school setting. That’s why I plan to do online college as well.”

And she’s not just planning. She’s making it happen. Just a few weeks after earning her high school diploma, Staci learned she had been accepted at Purdue University. Soon, she was enrolled and studying for a degree in early childhood education. This month, she’ll complete her first semester of classes. “Soon, I’ll have 10 college credits,” she recently reported.

Staci is hoping that working with young students will give her a chance to set a good example for children who might not have one at home.

“I want to show them that you can be better,” she said. “It’s never too late to become a better version of yourself.”

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. We understand each student needs an individual pathway to graduation and we are here to help. Click here for more information.