Homeless to High School Equivalency Graduate: Meet college-bound Ashley

Ashley’s journey with Seeds of Literacy spans more than a decade. She has been a student on and off since 2008. She’d disappear and then resurface a few years later.

By 2019, her assessment scores were good — really good. Regular attendance at Seeds was still a struggle due to her work schedule, and Site Coordinators were fearful they’d lose touch with her again. Staff members encouraged her to take the official GED test subtests.

  • February 2020: Ashley passed her first official GED test — Reading Language Arts.
  • March 2020: The COVID pandemic forced Seeds to go virtual and it was even more difficult for her to attend tutoring. Still, staff persisted, and kept frequent contact. They even provided her with voucher codes so that the cost of the tests wouldn’t prohibit her success.
  • Fall 2020: By fall, she had passed Social Studies and Science and it seemed she’d finally reach her goals.

But then, with just one subject left, and without any warning, she stopped attending — and she was unreachable.

In January 2021, Ashley sent us an email. When COVID hit, she’d gotten sick, lost her job, lost her car, and then she lost her home. She’d been staying at a homeless shelter with her children.

Ashley was writing to Seeds because she noticed the shelter had a computer lab. She wanted to know if she’d be able to attend tutoring in our Virtual Classroom on the shelter’s computer. She also wanted to know if the computers they had in their lab met the requirements to take the official GED Math test. (!)

She had been through so much, was homeless, and yet she was still making her education a priority. Inspired by her commitment, Staff worked with her to log on to the Virtual Classroom and she studied for a month. (Her practice scores were high, she didn’t need much help.) Her Site Coordinator even paid for her test.

March 2021: Ashley passed Math, joining the 80+ grads this year!

The future is much brighter for 31-year-old Ashley. She was accepted into college for practical nursing and begins classes this year. By March 2022, she’ll be an LPN. “Keep going and doing the work,” she tells classmates. “It might seem like achieving your goal is going to take forever. It’s not. Every day that you do the work you are one step closer.” 

“Seeds gave me encouragement. Even when they knew I was struggling, they helped me stay positive and got me through the struggle.”

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