December 2016 Alumni Spotlight: Emerson Hernandez

By Roxana Pérez and Vita Soto

Welcome to the Next Step Alumni Spotlight! Every month throughout the school year we highlight a Next Step Staff as well as Alumni that have 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 Emerson Hernandez who graduated from Next Step in 2016 with his GED.

Q: Where were you born? How did you hear about The Next Step PCS?

A: I was born in El Salvador. I found out about The Next Step through family members.

Q: What attracted you to The Next Step PCS and how was your experience? 

A: I was attracted by the opportunity to be able to start again and the flexible schedules. My experience was good because I received a lot of support from the school and the tutors.

Q: In what language did you pass the GED?

A: Spanish

Q: Is English your primary language? If not, what is your primary language?

A: No, my primary language is Spanish.

Q: Did you take any ESL courses? If so, where and for how long did you take ESL courses?

A: Yes, after I graduated I continued with ESL courses at The Next Step.

Q: How long did it take you to pass the GED?

A: One school year.

Q:What was your motivation to pass the GED?

A: My motivation was having the opportunity to start all over and take advantage of all the opportunities that my country did not offer me.

Q: Did you ever feel frustrated during your time at The Next Step PCS?

A: Yes, occasionally there were moments in where I wanted to give up on everything and not continue. At times it felt like all hope was lost but in those moments I found support at the school through my teachers and classmates.

Q: Who or what helped you pass the GED?

A: I think that I owe it to the teachers, my family and friends who always supported me.

Q: Did you receive any scholarships?

A: Yes, two thanks to God.

Q: What advice would you give to current students at The Next Step PCS who are trying to obtain the GED?

A: During the occasions where you feel that you can not keep going, those are the moments when hold on to your values and fight. In the end, you may say it was hard but at least you’ll be able to say you made it to the end.

Q: What are you doing today?

A: For now, working and studying at night.

Q: What is the best part of your job or schooling?

A: I think learning from both things and putting them into practice.

Q: What are your future professional goals?

A: For the moment to improve my English, then enter a university, and in a future start my own business.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working or in school?

A: Spend time with my family, listen to music and to walk.