Christena Claybrook may look like any other graduate, but her story says otherwise.
"I started as a single mom with nothing. We slept in a car starting out and I just worked anywhere cleaning houses or doing whatever I could do and had no education, couldn't get a job. My son kept on me 'You need to get your GED, please."
But she says she didn't get to walk across the stage without some struggles along the way.
"The first time I went for my GED I went to Alfred Saliba, ended up having cancer so I had to drop out of the program, so I was a drop-out. And once I was well he said to try it again and so I went back and this time I graduated.
"It makes me feel really proud of her. Yea, I'm really proud of her."
But Claybrook isn't the only one that's come a long way.
Ashley Sampson says facing the real world after dropping out of high school turned out to be more than she bargained for.
"When I left school it was really hard in the real world. I really didn't have a stable environment to stay in. I went through everything like losing my car and apartment, just a lot of hard times. So I had to get to the point where I wanted to do it for myself."
And now that Sampson is headed for higher education at Auburn University at Montgomery, she says she has hopes of a brighter future for herself on the job front.
"The job field is still gonna be difficult but with an educational background I think it will be much more easy to go into a professional place and have an actual career and not just a job, something you love to do."
"The job market is very very tight and they have to make themselves as marketable as possible because it is so competitive out there. Not only are they placing themselves in competition with other people who have their high school diploma's and GED's, they're also going to be competing with college grads. So the more education you have, the more preparation you have, the more armed you are to become successful."
So congratulations ladies, you deserve it.
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