By Roxana Pérez and Vita Soto
Welcome to the Next Step Staff Spotlight!
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's Next Step Staff Spotlight, we interviewed Antonio Ngua who graduated from The Next Step in 2015 with his foreign validated diploma.
Q: Where were you born? How did you hear about The Next Step PCS?
A: I was born in Equatorial Guinea, which is located in the central part of the African continent. I came here with a high school diploma from my country, and I did some research online on how a get an equivalent certificate in order to go college eventually, and through my research I found The Next Step PCS
Q: What attracted you to The Next Step PCS and how was your experience?
A: I had two school choices; I chose The Next Step PCS because the name convinced me given that I wanted to move on to the next step after finishing my English learning, and also because of the metro accessibility. Given where I am right now, I can proudly say that I made an excellent choice, and my experience there was extraordinary. I had a lot of advising during my times there, and I really felt like I was part of something that was going to change my life for the better.
Q: In what language did you pass the GED?
A: Enrolling into The Next Step PCS, I had a few choices, which is one of best parts of the school. I could have chosen to take the GED in Spanish given that it is my main language; however, I took a challenge and enrolled into the GED track in English in order to learn both the language and the academic subjects at the same time. I then decided to validate my diploma from my home country – I’m really good at multitasking.
Q: Is English your primary language? If no, what is your primary language?
A: My primary language is Spanish, and I also learned a bit of French while growing up.
Q: Did you take ESL courses? If so, where and for how long did you take ESL courses?
A: I took an ESL courses before enrolling at The Next Step PCS in an English institution in Virginia. I did the program for a year.
Q: How long did it take you to pass the GED?
A: I attended The Next Step PCS for a year and within that time I enhanced my English skills and validated my foreign diploma. It takes dedication.
Q: What was your motivation to pass the GED?
A: My primary goal when I came to the U.S was to go to college, and each class that I took at The Next Step PCS was a step forward to reaching my goal, and hey, I made it!
Q: Did you ever feel frustrated during your time at The Next Step PCS?
A: Not at all! The instructors were very professional and understating of each student’s situation, and if they could handle a certain problem, they would talk to each other to see how they could help.
Q: Who or what helped you pass the GED?
A: A lot of homework being done on time, and great time management skills taught by the staff at The Next Step PCS.
Q: Did you receive any scholarships?
A: At the end of the program, I was given the $500 Mundo Scholarship to get me started on my new college life, and that financial resource was very helpful as it allowed me to get my books on time. I applied for the school’s $1000 Ben Friedberg Scholarship and for New Futures Scholarship, and I received both.
Q: What advice would you give to current students at The Next Step PCS who are trying to obtain the GED?
A: Be on time for every class, do your homework, study, and most important of all, talk to your college and career advisor at any time.
Q: What are you doing today?
A: I am a student at the University of The District of Columbia; I am in my Junior year, and I am currently pursuing a bachelor degree in political science with the goal of becoming a politician for change in the future.
Q: What is the best part of your job or schooling?
A: The best part of my schooling is that I get the chance to spend most of my time with a lot of diverse people from around the world, and I get to learn about different places in the world.
Q: What are your future professional goals?
A: I would like to go back to Equatorial Guinea and become the President of the new generation; however, if that doesn’t work out I will settle for a relevant politician representing the people. That way I can set footprints to influence those who have the same goals.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working or in school?
A: I like to play soccer, and make music; I am a singer part time.