At her Y-Achievers GED graduation on April 27th, 2019, Jewel Shidler shared the story of how she discovered her “Pathway to a Brighter Future”! Read Her Story, below:
“Hello and good morning family, friends, teachers, case managers, and fellow graduates. We did it! We all accomplished a major milestone in our lives. We all faced adversity throughout our journey’s, which makes this moment special and memorable.
When I first entered the Y-Achievers program, I was 24 years old, pregnant with my 3rd child, and working towards earning my GED. Throughout my time in the program, I faced many health & personal barriers that made it difficult for me to work towards my GED goal. After 3 years of making minimal progress, I came to realization that my children needed a role model to look up to. About 2-3 months ago, my oldest son and I got into a little conflict. He wanted to drop out of elementary school because he no longer had interest. Obviously being his mother my response was “you can’t quit, you have to finish school like everyone else”! His response put me into tears. My son told me “why do I have to finish school, when you never did mom”! This is when I realized that I had to work harder as a mother and individual. My son’s response hurt me deeply BUT this is when I decided to overcome my health and personal barriers to obtain my GED. Something I want you all to take away from my story is “nothing is worth the risk, unless you fail; because failing teaches us how to be better and how to grow mentally, emotionally, and physically”. “It is not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up”.
I would like to thank everyone who believed in us. A huge thank you to the Y-Achievers program for guiding and assisting me to help reach my GED goal. My final thank you is for the YMCA. The YMCA has always been there for our communities and is a place where all people can go to learn, grow, and become a part of something bigger. Our future to success begins now, thank you!”
Y-Achievers GRE Graduate
Watts Family Maryvale YMCA