education_story_graphic

Chalkbeat journalists ask the people we come across in our work to tell us about their education stories and how learning shaped who they are today. Learn more about this series, and read other installments, here.

Heather Brown enrolled at The Excel Center adult charter high school in 2013. After she dropped out of high school, she tried many times to return for her diploma but marriage, children, work and a series of other obstacles stood in her way. We met her at The Excel Center graduation, where she finally earned her diploma. She hopes to find a job working in information technology.

When I was in high school, at Manual High School primarily and Center Grove High School at the end, I didn’t really have people to support me the way I needed. Too many things seemed to get in my way. I just dropped out. I wanted to get a GED but that never worked out.

I have been taking care of two step children for seven years and I had my son almost five years ago. I’m 25 and I’ve been married six years. I have another on the way right now. A friend of mine brought by a piece of mail about the Excel Center. I thought it sounded awesome. You could earn a Core 40 diploma? I decided I’ve got to go for it.

When I look at my kids, I want them to have a really good example. I want them to graduate. I don’t want them to do what I did.

I just looked at my kids and how my life was, and how my life was falling into place now, and it just made sense.

I’m going to school to get into information technology next. I’m loving every minute of it. When I want something, I work for it and this is what I’m doing.