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September - Taniese P.

I’ve been homeless since age thirteen. Education was my way to a better life.

Taniese has been suffering through homelessness since she was thirteen years old, and she knew that the best way to improve her life was through education. She was determined to get her GED.   

Taniese prepared for the GED test on her own, including Kaplan books at her local library. There were many obstacles to overcome. Living in a park with her family and sleeping in a car, she often found it difficult to study. As seasonal workers, Taniese and her family had to make do on just $150 to $200 per week most of the year. It was also a challenge to find a testing center, because there were none in her area; she traveled by bus to the nearest town with a testing center.    

Despite everything, Taniese was able to persevere. Her mom and sister were her biggest motivators and really supported her along the way.   

Taniese reflects on her GED journey: Being homeless inspires such a hopelessness at times that you just want to lay down wherever you are and not get back up but my mom and sister always encouraged me to keep studying and not let this one chapter in my life stop me from becoming a success story.” 

Obtaining her GED was life-changing for Taniese. She is now enrolled in community college to major in biology. As she begins working, Taniese will be proud to be a leading source of income for her family to be able to move into a home.