We recently sat down and spoke with Shatea Hill. Shatea shared a story similar to ones we have heard before. A smart student heads down the wrong path, and struggles to find an onramp back to higher education. Career schools unfortunately have to turn these students away who lack proof of high school graduation, but Dorsey Schools now offers a High School Completion program through Penn Foster, which allows students like Shatea to earn a high school diploma, find that onramp, and go on to higher education. Here's her story: 

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A: I am 27 years old, and from Pontiac Michigan, and I went through school, a little above-average student. I got above A's all the time. But when I got to high school it was a little difficult for me because I didn't want to be the honor's student. I wanted to be like all my other friends and hang out all the time, and skip class. It led me to getting pregnant at 15, so I had to drop out of school and go to alternative schools. They were a little too rowdy for me.

Q: What led you to pursue your education again?

A: As I got older and had another child, I realized, I have daughters, so I have to set the standard for them so I said let me go back to school.

I found out about Dorsey, it's a short program, 12 months, and you get certified but I didn't have my high school diploma or GED. Todd called me And said "We have this high school program, you can come in, it's free. You only have to go three days a week and you can get right in where you left off."

We signed me up for the Penn Foster program.

Q: How did you like the Penn Foster program?

A: It was great. I finished in like 3 months. It was fun. I had to take a lot of tests.  It was pretty easy for me, because I love to learn. I read the books, and did the tests. 

Q: How did it feel to get your diploma?

A: I didn't think it would be possible for me to get my diploma after so much time out of school because you know, after a certain amount of time you can't go to a regular high school diploma, you have to go to a GED type of thing. But with Penn Foster, it doesn't matter how old you are.

It feels very surreal. I didn't think it would ever be my reality, and now it is. It's amazing. I can't wait to frame my diploma and put it on my wall. Make copies, and put it on everybody's wall. It's a great feeling.

Q: Can you tell me about the program you are taking at Dorsey?

A: I am taking a program called Patient Care Technician. It's basically like Medical Assistant, but you are dealing more with patient care. It's a wonderful program. I got interested in the program because my mom got sick, and I had to take care of her. Then it dawned on me that I am a natural caregiver, so why not make a career out of it. That's why I chose Dorsey.

Q: How has earning your high school diploma changed you?

A: Being a high school graduate from Penn Foster and being almost finished with Dorsey has really shot my confidence through the roof because for a long time, I didn't have much self-worth because I was uneducated and had no hope that it would change until I realized that you don't stop at one door that closes you go onto the next one. And that's what Dorsey was - an open door - for me. And now I'm almost finished, and my kids are proud of me, and I couldn't be happier. 

Q: Has Penn Foster and Dorsey helped open more doors for you?

A: If it wasn't for Penn Foster and Dorsey coming together to help people out like me who want to go to school but just don't know how, it was great. If it wasn't for that, I would be still wondering what am I going to do with my life. As a parent, you can't really expect your children to succeed if you're not showing them how. So when I found out about the Penn Foster program, I was like okay, now I can prove to my kids that if I can do it, you can do it. 

Being in school and having that diploma is an amazing feeling. I wouldn't be at Dorsey if they didn't have the Penn Foster program.

Hear more from Shatea and other members of Dorsey Schools' inaugural High School Completion graduating class:

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