While thousands of students across the country are preparing to receive their high school diplomas in the coming weeks, for one recent graduate, her educational journey took a bit different and a bit longer path.
When Paula was 17, she left high school to work full-time to help her single mother provide for her eight siblings. Soon after, she started her own family, and as life happens, she continued on, always dreaming of one day receiving her degree.
“I never gave up hope,” said Paula. “But I knew I needed to set a plan in motion and find the support I needed to reach my goals.”
Nine years ago, after raising six children, working a variety of jobs, and supporting her own family as a single mother, Paula found San Marcos Adult School and began in her educational journey to get her high school diploma.
With the help and support of her teachers and counselors, Paula soon saw her diploma becoming a reality until a family tragedy struck in 2015, when one of her sons passed away unexpectedly. While she could have dropped out yet again, this time, her resolve was even stronger. This time, she would be graduating not only for herself but to honor her son as well.
“Life takes many turns, but if you stay strong and have the support you need, you can do anything,” said Paula. “The teachers and counselors at San Marcos Adult School carried me through in a very difficult time, and I will forever be grateful. My motto has always been ‘never give up’ and that’s what I did.”
In June of 2016, with five of her children by her side, Paula graduated with her high school diploma and delivered a commencement address at the ceremony held at San Marcos Adult School.
For this 62-year-old, she can now truly say, “I DID IT!” – proving that anyone can reach their dream if you don’t give up.