Daisy Hernandez's Story

In 2019, I decided to break free from working in the fields or a warehouse my whole life. It wasn't because I looked down upon those jobs or felt ashamed of them, but rather because I had a burning desire to continuously improve myself and secure a brighter future for myself and my children. That's when I stumbled upon OIC of Washington. They offered assistance in obtaining your GED. Without wasting time, I reached out to them and eagerly enrolled in their classes. At that point in my life, I was juggling multiple responsibilities. I was working part-time at McDonalds and had a 9-month-old baby to care for. Despite these challenges, I was determined to attend my classes in the afternoons. I was 26 years old and had not set foot in a classroom since I was 16. Naively, I believed the journey ahead would be easy, but as soon as I started the classes, I realized how difficult it was to grasp many of the concepts being taught.

Unfortunately, the pandemic hit, suspending in-person classes for a while. When they gave the green light that classes would continue online, I returned. However, I couldn't help but feel detached as the virtual learning experience lacked the same essence as in-person education. As another year went by, the pandemic persisted, and it was during this time that Rosario Mata approached me with encouraging words, saying, "Daisy, what are you waiting for to come back? You only need one subject; don't miss your opportunity; you can do it!" Intrigued by her words, I pondered over the idea and decided to go back. Under the guidance of Rosa Miranda, I embarked on my online classes.

In 2022, I attempted the practical math exam, but unfortunately, I did not pass. Determined not to be discouraged, I made another attempt, only to face disappointment again. Miranda assured me, "Daisy, you are ready!" However, deep down, I felt I needed to prepare more due to my irregular attendance and lack of understanding of certain concepts. Just before Miranda left, I was scheduled to take the exam again, but unfortunately, I didn't pass it. I started feeling stressed and anxious; to top it off, I was assigned a new teacher. Upon Ana's arrival, our initial interactions were limited to phone conversations and her sending me work packages to complete from home. Until we scheduled the first virtual class and I had the opportunity to meet her.

Initially, I had reservations that she would be as strict as my previous teacher, but to my pleasant surprise, she turned out to be the best teacher I have had since my childhood. Not only did she provide me with practice materials to work on at home, but she also encouraged me. Despite my initial struggles, she reassured me, saying, "Don't worry, Daisy, we will continue trying. You are ready. It's just your nerves that are holding you back."

She sent me to take the exam about three times, and I didn't pass it. When completing the test, I would become nervous and forget everything. The examination would be canceled on certain occasions due to my frequent movement.

This left me feeling desperate and convinced that I had exhausted my opportunities. Then, Ana advised me to take a break and return to work, which would help clear my mind and return in three months. After three months, I resumed my efforts. Only a week passed when Ana suggested I take a Ready before the official exam. Because of work, it wasn't very easy for me, I did it a day before the official and missed a point. Despite this, I persevered and took the test, even if I failed. I reassured myself that one day, I would eventually pass it.

The day had finally arrived for me to take my test. It was a Monday on September 18, 2023. After dropping my kids off at school, I made my way to Yakima. However, the nerves got the best of me, and I got lost. I arrived at the place and tried my best to calm myself. With determination, I finished the exam and contemplated calling Ana. I decided to wait for her to call me instead, hoping for good news. After what felt like an eternity, Ana finally called. "Daisy, congratulations!" I couldn't believe it. "Are you serious, Anna?" I asked in disbelief. She reassured me, saying, "Yes! I told you that you could do it." Tears came to my eyes. I finally did it. I was at the store and started calling my family to share the news. I was thrilled. Now, I am looking for new employment opportunities and continuing my educational journey. I am forever grateful to Ana for her patience and all the other staff who were part of this journey.

Posted January 23, 2024

Daisy Hernandez's Story

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