By writer to www.lehighvalleylive.com
We profiled three individuals who may have given up on themselves, however didn’t. After a long time of asking “What if?” they went again and obtained their highschool equivalencies. They overcame unhealthy selections and unhealthy luck to enhance their profession alternatives, however extra importantly, enhance their self-image and self-worth.
Half three of 4. What my GED means to me: Natasha’s story.
The results of silly selections you make as an adolescent can keep on with you for years and years.
However they don’t have to stay perpetually.
Natasha Stokes Dingle is proof of that.
Twenty years after dropping out of highschool she stood earlier than a bunch of highschool equivalency earners, cheering them (and herself) for bettering themselves.
Her mom by no means anticipated she’d drop out. The Newark native who moved to Wilson Borough was an amazing scholar when she left faculty.
“I’ve by no means struggled with faculty or something like that. I used to be all the time getting honor roll,” she stated.
She stated she made an irrational and emotional resolution when she determined to cease going to high school in eleventh grade. She stated she felt overwhelmed.
Her mom by no means suspected she give up faculty.
“I didn’t inform her. She began getting letters from faculty. She thought I used to be in school however I used to be truly at my girlfriend’s,” Stokes Dingle stated.
She tried evening faculty however lacked the curiosity to see it by means of.
“When you cease doing one thing for thus lengthy, simply to get the momentum again is tough,” she stated.
She moved in along with her boyfriend, obtained pregnant and moved residence.
She would finally get a job serving to disabled college students get on and off public faculty buses. She met her husband they usually moved to Wilson Borough 9 years in the past.
“Once I obtained right here, it was totally different. It wasn’t as simple to get a job because it was after I lived in New Jersey,” she stated. She bounced from job to job, not anticipating a lot or making an attempt to enhance her life. That’s when she began fascinated with a GED.
“You get uninterested in being drained. You simply really feel such as you’re caught. For some time I used to be caught,” she stated.
She took motion when she noticed one among her Fb mates had gotten a highschool equivalency.
“I requested the place she graduated from. She stated she went by means of ProJeCt of Easton. Two days later, I known as,” Stokes Dingle stated.
After 4 months of lessons, she handed the GED take a look at in 2017.
“Truthfully, it wasn’t as arduous as I assumed it was going to be. If I noticed that I’d have executed it sooner,” she stated.
She’s accomplished two semesters at Northampton Neighborhood Faculty since then.
She got here again to ProJeCt in June to deal with the lessons of 2020 and 2021. Her message: plan, pray and execute.
Prayer is necessary, she stated.
“One factor that I noticed is that I could have a plan however typically He has a distinct one. His plan is all the time the perfect one,” Stokees Dingle stated.
For example, her husband was recognized with kidney illness two years in the past. The household was distraught. Stokes Dingle’s husband had raised her son, though the husband wasn’t the boy’s father. When her son turned 18, he grew to become sufficiently old to hunt eligibility as a kidney donor. He needed to attempt to repay the person he’d often called his father by donating a kidney. The take a look at outcomes got here again in April.
“He examined a 100% match for his stepfather. I used to be speechless,” she stated. They’re making ready for transplant surgical procedure.
She got here again to ProJeCt for the commencement a number of days after her son graduated from highschool. ProJeCt helped her, and she or he desires to pay it ahead.
“I’m fairly certain deciding to come back again to get your diploma was a tough resolution however consider me, it’s top-of-the-line selections that you may ever make,” Stokes Dingle instructed the graduates. Not solely did they get their highschool equivalency, they did it throughout a world pandemic. For that they need to be proud, she stated.
“In addition to going to school to additional your training and acquiring higher jobs to make you somewhat extra financially safe, it opens your thoughts and assist builds confidence in your individual private potential. It helps you faucet into issues that had been there all alongside and assist you to appreciate the potential that you just by no means knew was there,” she stated.
You may donate to ProJeCt of Easton on its website.
Rudy Miller could also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.