On the Occasion of a Graduation

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Blog, Guest Story | 1 comment

On the Occasion of a Graduation

Mario Andretti once said, “Desire is the key to motivation and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

Desire and motivation are what drove me to stick to my goals to finally acquire my GED. I had made a commitment to myself that I had failed at 11 years ago. I had had my whole life planned out my senior year of high school –graduate, go to college, get married and have kids. It’s the future plans of most high school students. It didn’t work out that way when I got pregnant during my senior year. The plans had changed. I got pregnant, got married and had my family. I got my diploma and am now headed to Ivy Tech for the summer term.

After several failed attempts of trying to get my GED, the time was now or never last October when I finally made the commitment that was 11 years in the making. I was going to make it happen regardless of the obstacles that I have ahead of me. Being homeless is hard while trying to rebuild my life. I studied daily and never gave up. I had managed to make it all happen in a few weeks. I took the test in November and finally felt some relief. Receiving my diploma was one of the most rewarding moments in my life. None of it would have been possible without the encouragement of my teacher, Sheila Butler, and the Shalom Community Center for allowing me to receive a voucher to pay for it.

I am planning on pursuing my degree in Human Services so I can become a Social Worker. I want to help people who are struggling with obstacles in their lives and give them hope again. This is all going to be possible due to all the great people who encouraged me and stood behind me when I wanted to quit. This is also all for my children to show them that no matter what happens in your life, anything is possible.

Angela Dawn Riley is the mother of 3, a recent GED graduate, and a Board member for the Shalom Community Center. Following her divorce, she has been without a home several times over the last 4 years. She will be attending Ivy Tech this summer to pursue a degree in the social services field.