At age 20, Elizabeth withdrew from her online high school program. She’d gotten married, had other priorities, and didn’t really feel like her education was going anywhere. She worked a variety of “dead-end” jobs over the next 14 years, but her experience as a security guard for a hospital psychiatric ward inspired her to finish high school and pursue a degree in psychology.
After being referred to the program by her sister, Elizabeth knew she wanted to earn her high school diploma through a unique partnership with Marian University and Graduation Alliance.
“I liked the fact that it was online, I could kind of work at my own pace, and I would be getting a diploma over a GED,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth needed less than 10 classes to earn her high school diploma and appreciated the user-friendliness of the Graduation Alliance student portal. She has even referred the program to a few of her friends.
“I actually found Graduation Alliance easier than a traditional classroom, especially with how everything was set up because I wasn’t in a classroom and wasn’t getting distracted,” Elizabeth said. “I have ADHD and reading comprehension issues, so the fact that it was kind of like 1:1, I could study at my own pace, and I didn’t have any distractions or anything like that made a huge difference for me in my ability to stay on track.”
Now, Elizabeth is a high school graduate and is working on a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Marian University with the goal of becoming a social worker for psychiatric patients.
“I want to be a social worker and work with people with depression and mental health issues and get them resources and also be the voice that they need, especially in hospital settings,” Elizabeth said. “I knew how those patients felt — I could relate, and I know I can do better (as a social worker) than some other people have.”