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Determined Mom Earns High School Diploma at 22

Today’s #30DaysOfGrad post was written by Adali Ortiz, a recent graduate of Arizona Collegiate High School, right before her high school graduation.

My name is Adali Ortiz. On May 22nd I will finally earn my high school diploma. I dropped out of high school because I got pregnant. I then stayed home with my daughter for two years until I could find somebody I could really trust to care for her.

Two months before I turned 21, I tried to re-enroll at several high schools, but they wouldn’t take me because I was too old. My hopes were down because I didn’t want a GED. I preferred a diploma because I wanted to be a good role model for my daughter. I started to think I would never get a diploma, then came to Arizona Collegiate High School (ACHS) and got accepted. I said to myself, ‘This is my chance to work really hard!’

At 21-years-old, I was only a sophomore, so I had to work really hard to get good grades. I only had nine credits when I started at ACHS. In two years, I made up three years of school. I took online classes and came to school all day for 8 hours.

My teachers at Arizona Collegiate have given me a lot of support and helped me with my classes. Every question I have, they help me answer it. They are always there for me. My husband and dad helped a lot too.

Without ACHS I would be in a different situation because I tried to enroll in other schools and they wouldn’t accept me. ACHS gave me a chance to earn my diploma.
It’s been worth all the struggles because I’m at the end now and everything is going great.

I’m just waiting for the day to be able to reach for that diploma and have my baby run to me and give me a hug and show her that mommy made it. I want her to be proud of me. I want to work hard, have a career and give my daughter a really good education and everything she needs. My immediate plans are to be an interpreter at a children’s hospital. I’ve applied for the training classes that start in August. I also plan to go to college and work in the medical field.

In life it’s hard because sometimes you find yourself in situations that you think you are not going to be able to keep up with, but if there’s a chance then take it! Everything will be worth it in the end.

This story is part of an ongoing series in the month of June highlighting the success of charter school graduates and schools across the country. Click here to view the latest from #30DaysOfGrad.