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Student Stories

I received a phone call to schedule an interview for an office position at Children’s
Hospital of Los Angeles, which I had applied for. I interviewed first with the department manager and the director. After this interview, I was scheduled for a second Interview with the Chief of Staff (a doctor), the department administrator and office staff. They asked personal
and professional questions like “What brings you back to the Hospital setting?” and “Would the shift time work for you?” Also, “How soon can you start working?” They also gave me scenarios with parents and asked me what I would I do in those situations. For instance, they asked me, “How would you deal with a very upset parent?” Once I was done with the second interview, I
was told they would call me within a week if I got the job. About 3 days later, HR called me to make an offer, and I accepted it. I was hired that day. They sent me emails regarding the paperwork I needed to submit. I also had to schedule a new employee physical with employee health. The physical was scheduled and when I checked my emails to see what else I needed to
submit, I was disappointed to see that one of the requirements was my high school diploma. I didn’t have one because I dropped out of school at the beginning of my senior year. I really wanted the office position because I didn’t want to continue working as a medical assistant. Standing on my feet too long was killing me. Not having a diploma has closed a door on me
right when I wanted to make a change in occupation.
At the age of 17 I had 2 part time jobs. My mother had forced me to work to pay for rent and bills while she stayed home being lazy, doing nothing productive for herself or us. I worked for St. Vincent Hospital (Meals on Wheels Program) on the weekends and holidays and at the
Baby Gap every day after school. I had no time to study, do homework or focus on my education. My mother didn’t care about my education. She always told me that paying for rent and bills was my priority. She would say that so often that I believed it and made it my priority. My goal before this priority was to graduate high school and become a police officer. Eventually
I wanted to become a homicide detective. Those dreams were shattered when I dropped out of school. Working plus school was too much on my shoulders and caused me a lot of stress. One night after I dropped out of school, my mother called me into the kitchen. She asked me to promise her that I would never become a police officer. She wouldn’t let me go to bed until I
made her that promise. So I did, not knowing what her intentions were or why she was asking this of me. At the time I thought it was for my own good, but I was wrong. My mother never worked a day in her life. She didn’t know what that responsibility was. Her not working made me feel like I had the responsibility to provide for the home/family.
After the job interview and the realization that I needed a diploma, I decided to go back to school. I went online and searched for schools that offered adult education. That is when I found AFOC. I read about the programs that were offered, which included the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. I decided to call and inquire about it. I was told that I could come and take an assessment test that would place me. Then I could speak with a counselor to discuss what classes I needed to take. That same day I took the assessment, and I met with the counselor. He helped me sign up for two classes. I am beyond excited to be back in school. My husband and kids are very excited for me and are being very supportive. I am planning to attend college and major in forensics after getting my high school diploma. I foresee a brighter future for me and my family.