San Juan College GED program student Reggie Yazzie is a testament that with hard work and determination, the possibilities are endless.
Reggie dropped out following his junior year of high school. “I never realized what the consequences of that mistake would be 13 years later,” Yazzie says.
Today Yazzie is a husband, a father to three children and has been employed in the welding field for more than 12 years.
“Unfortunately, in September of 2009 I was notified by my employer that my job was in jeopardy because the company wanted me to obtain a certification that would require me to have a high school diploma or a GED,” he explains. “Thanks to my poor decision 13 years ago, I didn’t have either.”
Yazzie was required to complete his GED in a six-month time frame or permanently lose his job.
“I called around and was referred to the Adult Basic Education Program at San Juan College,” he continues.
“Reggie continued to work full time at his job and came to school in the evening,” says Melissa Gonzales, Adult Basic Education Student advisor. “He worked in the SMART lab and received tutoring on the weekends. This took away the little time he had with his family, but they supported him because they knew the importance of him completing the GED program.”
He spent seven months in the program. In April he took the GED test and passed all sections except math.
“My six-month deadline was up for my job suspension,” he says. “We persuaded his employer to give one additional month in order for Reggie to bring his math score up,” Gonzales adds.
With encouragement and support from the ABE staff, Yazzie buckled down and studied even harder. He retook the test and brought his math score up tremendously. He also retook his reading test and saw a huge jump in it as well. “This brought my overall total well above the required passing score, says Yazzie. “I received my GED but, most importantly, I was able to secure my job and provide for my family.”
“In hindsight I would have given anything to undo the poor choices I made in high school,” he continues. “Thanks to the help of San Juan College Adult Basic Education, I earned my GED and regained a piece of life I had lost 13 years before.”