High school did not come easy for Gia Jurczyk, the oldest of six children.
“I was more concerned with whether my brothers and sisters had food than what the teacher was saying,” said Jurczyk. “When I came home, I spent my time helping take care of my siblings and homework rarely crossed my mind. School simply wasn’t a priority.”
As soon as Jurczyk was old enough, she got a job to help support her family and eventually dropped out of high school to work more hours. A month before her 18th birthday, she gave birth to a baby girl and spent years working as a single mom.
She decided she wanted more for herself after she got married and her children grew older, so she enrolled in St. Charles Community College’s High School Equivalency (HSE) program.
On Wednesday, June 11, Jurczyk, was honored with 89 other students during a recognition ceremony for the Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program at SCC.
Some 65 students recognized for receiving their High School Equivalency credential and 25 students were acknowledged for their achievement, improvement and attendance in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program.
Five students were honored for becoming U.S. citizens including Lyubov Abdulnafikov, Rashid Abdulnafikov, Ernesto Avendano, Damelis Fuentes and Alex Rodriguez.
During the 2013-14 school year, more than 180 SCC students received their HSE credentials and more than 450 SCC students from 58 countries took part in the ESL program.
Jurczyk’s equivalency score qualified her to apply for a SCC Board of Trustees scholarship. She was selected and her tuition at SCC will be fully covered for four semesters.
She is excited to begin the pre-engineering transfer program offered at SCC in the fall.
“Because I made the decision to get my GED, I was able to turn my dreams into goals, and now, I am turning those goals into reality,” Jurczyk said.
The GED test expired as of Dec. 31, 2013. On Jan. 2, Missouri began offering the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). No scores will transfer from the GED to the HiSET. Learn more at hiset.ets.org.
The Adult Education and Literacy program at St. Charles Community College teaches basic reading, math and writing skills to prepare people to take the HiSET (formerly GED) tests and to assist non-native speakers in gaining English proficiency. The program extends to four counties (St. Charles, Warren, Lincoln and Pike), and free day and evening classes are available online.
For more information about the AEL program at SCC, call 636-922-8411 or visit stchas.edu/ael.
St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit stchas.edu.
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