GED & a Paycheck

Ryan was 17 years old when he dropped out of Martin High School in Arlington. He was seriously behind on his high school credits and knew that it would have taken a long time to catch up. According to Ryan, “I had no idea or plans on what I was going to do from that point.”

One day Ryan’s mother was driving home from work when she saw a van pull up next to her at a stop light. The van had a Goodwill banner across it promoting a GED program with work experience. She shared the information with Ryan and at that moment he knew the program would work for him. E-Squared (E²) is an education program for youth ages 16-24 in which students earn their GED and a paycheck at the same time.

“In the past, I truly had never given 100% while attending school. It felt like a never-ending process, sitting in a classroom seven hours a day, five days a week.”

After enrolling in the E² program in late January, Ryan knew he had to give it his all to make it happen. It took a little over three months, but he studied hard and stayed motivated throughout the process.

On May 28, Ryan received his TEA Certificate of High School Equivalency. The E² program made him feel more independent and self-confident. “I really appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of the program. I was treated like an adult and not just another student.”

For Ryan, the program structure, hours and the freedom to work at your own pace was essential. And, the work experience he received was a great opportunity as well.

“I am beyond thankful for everybody that helped me obtain this certificate and I hope to go on and do great things. I plan to enroll into TCC or the Art Institute of Dallas to study photography.”