Friday, April 2, 2010

With help from Germanna's Middle College, single mom gets her life back on track after dropping out of high school

My name is Aundrea Handy. I’m 24, and a single mother of two children. I graduated from the Germanna Middle College Program in 2009 and received my General Education Diploma.

As a high school dropout, there aren’t many options when it comes to jobs: the only experience I had was customer service. Therefore, a minimum wage job was all I could get. As the economy slowed down in 2007, I began to struggle. I was living paycheck to paycheck and could barely afford my rent; then business slowed even more and my hours were cut completely. I could no longer afford my home and had to move into a homeless shelter.

I was devastated; I did not know what to do next. Then I saw an ad in the newspaper for The Middle College Program at Germanna and started to think. I thought about my kids and how I didn’t want them to make the same mistakes I did. What better way to show them this than to go back to school, become a great role model, and show them that school is necessary for a better life and a great career.

Going back to school to complete my high school education was the best decision I ever made. Middle College opened my eyes and gave me a new outlook on life. Everything started to fall into place, I became more confident and motivated and I even landed a better paying job. I moved out of the shelter and am now living a very comfortable, stable life and my kids are very happy.

My daughter sees me doing homework and it inspires her, she loves going to school every day. Completing the program and graduating was a dream come true, I never thought I’d be given another chance to graduate. Middle College gave me that chance. This inspired me to want to continue with my education. I thought 'Why stop here? The sky is the limit and school has been the best thing to happen to me.'

I am a Germanna student, and it feels great to say that. I have always wanted to be a successful businesswoman and a psychologist to help people. So I am currently taking classes to earn a degree in both Business Administration and Psychology. I hope to become an Organizational Psychologist. In this career I will apply the principles of psychology and human behavior to personnel, administration, management, sales and marketing problems.

I was so happy to find this occupation, as it is also a part of human services, counseling, and mental health services which I am very interested in. This has been an eye-opening and reassuring experience for me overall. I am so thrilled to continue this journey and grateful for the opportunity that the Middle College Program at Germanna has given me.

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