By Roxana Perez and Vita Soto
Welcome to the Next Step Alumni Spotlight! Every month throughout the school year we highlight a Next Step Alumni that has received their GED to check in and see how they are doing and what they’ve been up to since graduating from Next Step PCS.
For this month, we interviewed Glenda Reyes who graduated from Next Step in 2014 with her GED.
Where were you born? How did you hear about Next Step?
I was born in La Union, El Salvador. I heard about Next Step from my grandmother who had a friend that studied at Next Step. Her friend told her about this school.
What attracted you to Next Step and how was your experience?
The principal reason that attracted me to Next Step was the possibility of taking the GED. But when I started to study, what attracted me even more was the support and advice the teachers gave to students and the motivation with which they teach. My experience was awesome, I learned many things, and I met people with whom I can count on now.
In what language did you take the GED exam?
I took the GED in Spanish.
Is English your native language? If not, what is your native language?
No. My native language is Spanish.
How long did it take you to pass the GED?
I took me two months to pass the GED.
What was your motivation for getting your GED?
My motivation was the desire to succeed. I got my high school diploma in my country, but I knew the GED was going to open many doors for me in this country.
Did you ever feel frustrated during your time at Next Step?
I felt frustrated, especially when I first didn't pass the practice GED. That frustrated me because it created doubts that I couldn't pass the actual GED exam but that wasn't the case as I did end up passing the test, which helped so much with overcoming my frustrations and also the fears that I had inside.
What helped you pass the GED?
My teachers Mr. Scott, Ms. Barrios, Ms. Cuellar, Ms. Clarita and Mr. Torres. I learned a lot in their classes, but Mr. Torres really helped me because when I did not pass the practice, he told me, ¨this score does not reflect your ability, I know you can pass the GED¨ and those words are still in my mind today.
What advice would you give to current students that are attempting to pass the GED?
Studying is one of the most important things that we need to do in our life to succeed. Do not give up because of your job. I know it’s not easy but who says that achieving great things will ever be the easy? But if you do not study know that you can and will regret it later. Just remember that everything is possible--everything can be accomplished but only if you work on it.
What are you doing now?
I received some scholarships through the Herblock and Majors Scholarship Programs and with those scholarships I am taking ESL classes at Montgomery College and also working in a restaurant.
For you, what’s the best part about school?
The best part about school is that you learn a little bit more every day and knowing that everything that I do is helping me to create my successful future.
What are your future professional goals?
I want to finish the ESL classes and get a scholarship that can pay my whole four years at a univ
ersity. I want to be a dentist in the future and have my own dental clinic.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working or going to school?
My favorite thing is to play games and watch movies with my sister.