Joi was almost finished with her studies at Thornwood High School in south suburban South Holland when her health became an issue. It soon became apparent she was suffering from renal failure and regular dialysis treatments were required. Joi decided to forgo completing high school to focus on her health.

Timing, as they say, is everything, and it seemed timing was going to work against Joi again when she decided to begin studying for a GED through Truman College. Just weeks into the program, she learned that a kidney match had been found for her long-awaited transplant, but the operation would need to be during her GED studies. Joi credits her success in the program to, not only her own determination, but the persistence of Joy Marks, a Truman College adult educator leading her GED course, who visited Joi regularly during her recovery and kept her current with her studies.

Her hard work has paid off and she will not only be among the graduates crossing the stage at Truman on Thursday, June 29, to receive her diploma, she will be one of the featured speakers, reminding all in attendance that “obstacles do present themselves, but you have to work at them, overcome them to live out your dreams.”

Joi’s dream, now that she is enrolled at Truman College and pursuing her associate’s degree through the Adult Education Gateway Program, is to transfer to Columbia College Chicago to study television and radio production for a career in that field.

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