Amanda needed support to graduate from high school. It took more than 20 years, but she finally got the support she needed to earn her diploma.
“I dropped out my senior year, which was back in 1998, and I just couldn’t understand the teachers,” Amanda said. “They didn’t want to understand me. … I didn’t have much of a support team back when I was in high school.”
Despite not having her high school diploma, Amanda pursued a career as a certified nursing assistant for more than a decade and worked other odd jobs — mostly fast food and factory jobs — to make ends meet.
Then in 2016, she landed a job with Healthcare Services Group. She loved the company, and in order to advance to higher-paying positions, she needed to earn her diploma. So she found what she thought was a good fit, enrolled, and completed all her courses — only to find out that the diploma was not accredited.
Though she was disappointed by this setback, Amanda was still determined to graduate. The Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) Pathway to a Degree program allowed her to complete the four classes she needed to graduate from high school and step directly into an online business administration program.
OPSU’s partnership with Graduation Alliance gave Amanda the support she needed to succeed and is continuing to support her in her college career.
“Rayce is my Academic Coach, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world,” Amanda said. “He’s the one who tells me to keep going and keep pushing!”
Amanda plans to work her way up to a district manager position now that she has the credentials she needs for a promotion.
“Since I earned my diploma, I feel more positive about myself,” Amanda said. “If I can do it, then anybody can. And now it just makes me want to go further and further and see how far I can go because I actually accomplished something!”
She has also been supporting her family in their educational endeavors.
“I try to be there for my daughter as much as I can because she’s in high school,” Amanda said. “When she graduates from high school, I’ll be graduating from college. We have a deal going on. If we both graduate, we want to do something completely different — go somewhere!”
Amanda’s husband is also interested in furthering his education, and she is encouraging him to pursue flight school. She said that he is one of her biggest supporters, and she wants to do the same for him.
“No matter the age you are, you can accomplish anything as long as you put your mind to it,” Amanda said. “And if you really want it, you can do it!”