July 24, 2012
Student EM wanted a change in her life and the lives of her young children. When EM quit high school in 2006, she made a choice based on her lifestyle at the time, pregnant and chose to marry her baby’s father.
Several years ago, EM became unemployed, living with her mother and had relinquished custody of her first child to her ex-husband’s parents. She became pregnant again and the child’s father was out of the picture.
At that point, the EM story seems to be just another statistic. She had no job prospects. She was part of the 22% of single mother in the community area living at the poverty level. State assistance can only take someone in her situation so far. Food Stamps and WIC, Families First and the local Community Action Agency helped the essentials, but EM knew she was at a crossroad.
She decided to enroll GED classes offered through the Clarksville-Montgomery County Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program. EM thought that she would be able to get GED in a couple of months, but the birth of her second daughter and the instability of her home and family changed her plans. She quit the program and spent the next year raising her daughter, living with her mother and youngest brother.
EM enrolled in the GED program again, determined that her life had to change. She was sick of having ‘no job’ – ‘no money’ and was disappointed in the choices she had made in the past.
After attending several weeks of classes, EM discovered that she’s pregnant with her third child. Remember, this situation is not unique!
With the support of her mother providing babysitting and transportation, EM continued her education.
EM worked and studied where she enrolled in the ALC Math Fast Track free tutoring program until the birth of her third daughter. She returned to school less than six weeks later. She was on a mission. She did not just want a GED she realized it was the only lifeline she had left. It meant the difference between a life for her and her children and breaking the cycle of poverty. Her academic progress became measurable in week not months. It wasn’t long before EM was ready to take the official GED Exam. With the support of the ALC program, EM passed easily her Math, increased her score by 200 points from her prior exam.
Immediately, EM enrolled in a local technical college to begin her course work to become a medical assistant. She plans to take her education further and one day to become a registered nurse.
Currently, EM is working at a local diner also.
Choices were made, choices are still being made, but this determined young mother is looking toward the future with brighter choices.