Test Takers from Tennessee

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Transcript

[Music]

Speakers: Korey, Maria, Mark, Anthony (HiSET® Test Takers); Jason Beard, Administrator of Adult Education, State of Tennessee

Speaker: Korey - I dropped out of high school when I was 15 years old. 26 years of being under the hood of a car it's... it's time to change.

Speaker: Maria - I got married really, really young and I didn't finish school.

Speaker: Jason Beard - In Tennessee, we have just over 500,000 individuals who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalency.

Speaker: Mark - When I come here I don't know anything. I... I dropped out from school.

Speaker: Anthony - Without a high school diploma I would not be able to get into the military, I wouldn't be able to get a decent enough job to sustain myself.

On-screen: [ETS® HiSET®.]

Speaker: Jason Beard - Adult education is the key that unlocks the door of opportunity and in the State of Tennessee the HiSET® exam is a vital piece of the adult education program.

Speaker: Korey - I didn't want to go to school. I kind of wanted to do other things and school interfered. I was 15 when I stopped school. So, I am 41 now. I've been married for almost 13 years. I have a girl, Christiana, she just turned 12, and I have a son Logan, he is 9. That's part of what pushed me to get the diploma as well. I know what it's like to not finish school. I know what it's like to go through life without a diploma. My wife, she is a little bit more of a go-getter than I am. I started looking up some stuff online and basically gave him, this is where you need to be and this is the time, and so I need you to get there and do it. He kind of just took the information and ran with it.

Speaker: Korey's wife - This is the Chevy Impala down there.

Speaker: Korey - The Adult Education Center, the teachers, everyone, I mean they're... they're there to help you. I didn't have to take time off work. I was able to go in after work. When I got the results of the test back, I was a little stressed going, okay, did I pass? Did I not pass? You know, how did I do? But I passed, and it was... I mean, it made me feel real good. The graduation is this Sunday. My wife and kids are definitely going to be there. I want to progress further and go to college. I've always kind of liked engineering.

Speaker: Korey's wife - I feel that now that he has it, he is definitely a lot more proud of himself, and I am too.

Speaker: Maria - I am originally from Mexico and came here when I was 10 years old, without knowing any English at all. So it was really hard for me going to school and knowing nothing, people making fun. And I got married, dropped out. My kids came from school with books and everything and I was just trying to learn. They were doing assignments or something and I was there just to see how they do the stuff, so I can learn too. I had an opportunity to go to Nissan as a supervisor, I applied for it, and they gave me the job, but when they find out that I didn't have the diploma, they say, you need to get your diploma. If you don't get your diploma... so I find this place, Adult Education, and I went over there and I enrolled myself and I was there every day. I mean, I work second shift, so sometimes I was coming home really late. And like I said, there were sometimes that I was like, I can't do this no more; I am not going to pass; I am not going to pass, but they keep pushing me, everybody. My husband is always like, don't worry about it, you've got this. You've been working really hard, you've got this. And I opened the email and I saw the score and I am like, yes, I got it. And the day of the graduation it was... it was really emotional. I mean, seeing all my family there. I went over there and grabbed my diploma and I looked at them and I am like, yeah, this is for you guys.

Speaker: Mark - I manage a liquor store on Broad Street, so I work about 60 hours a week. I am from China. I came in 1997. I was a bad kid when I was young. I was never interested in learning, and not until like when I losing the opportunity that I realized that learning is more important, and that's why I signed up, you know, for HiSET®. I also sign up Read to Succeed Program. My mainly is English problem. They help me a lot. I think Ms. Jones, she believes in me and convinced me to take the HiSET®. It's not as hard as what I thought. When I passed the HiSET® test, I was so happy and my whole family was happy. My mom... my mom even dropped a tear. She even cried, yeah. Yeah, at the graduation, I feel proud of myself. It opened doors and it's to college. I am enrolled in Motlow College here, trying to hope that my kids will have better education and know things better than I do.

Speaker: Anthony - I was missing two math credits, because I moved from down south to up north to back down south. Once that happened it was just like, man, I am grown now I don't really want to be living with my parents. I kind of want to be on my own, so I just went and got me a job. I had a girlfriend, ended up having my first son. He is three months now. So, I just thought like I've got to get my education. I found out I couldn't go back to school, I had to come to the Adult Education Center. I feel embarrassed, you know what I am saying, going back to school, but I know I needed to get it done, and I ended up taking the practice test, doing well on that, and a week later took the HiSET® and I did very well on that. That opened up a lot of doors for me. I am 100% sure I am going into the Army. I am definitely interested in the GI Bill and them paying for my college, because, you know, I have three brothers and sisters that have been to college. I don't want to just live to get by while having a son; I want to have a good life.

[Music]

On-screen: [Expanding Opportunities. Changing Lives. ETS® HiSET®.]

Speaker: Maria - Just don't stop, keep going. It doesn't matter how old you are, just keep going.

Speaker: Korey - Don't be scared to take the test. You know, if you're afraid you won't pass, then you're never going to go do it, and then you never will pass.

Speaker: Mark - It can be an opportunity to do what you wanted to do.

Speaker: Anthony - Now that I have my diploma it's like, I feel unstoppable now. I feel like I can do anything.

Speaker: Jason Beard - Success, that's an individual with a job, that's an individual with a good job. That's an individual who can go on to post-secondary education who couldn't before. That's a person who is self-sufficient for the first time in their life.

[Music]

On-screen: [ETS® HiSET®. hiset.ets.org]

End of HiSET® - Test Takers from Tennessee Testimonial Video.

Video duration: 7:14

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