Rocio Gomez left high school after her freshman year, when she had her oldest daughter. Now, 15 years later, Rocio is setting an example for her five children and finishing what she started.
After she left high school, Rocio worked in the food industry and in retail, moving across the country and even to Mexico for a short time. When she returned to Chicago in 2008, she realized that the job market was tough and that she needed a high school diploma to even apply for most positions.
But she wasn’t just motivated by the job market – her oldest daughters we in high school and questioning the importance of education. They figured if she dropped out, maybe they could, too.
“I explained to them how hard it was raising them and working at the same time. I wanted them to go to college, but then I asked myself why couldn’t I go to college, too?”
Going back to school while she was working full-time to support her children was almost impossible for the single mother. Even with her own mother helping out with childcare, she started and stopped attending classes a few times. She also tried studying on her own with books from the library or with online tutorials, but she knew she needed a classroom setting to be successful.
Finally, in 2016 Rocio was able to enroll in GED classes at Wright College and spent a year working toward her goal of earning her GED. She spent time in the Tutoring Center, Writing Center, and Wellness Center for help when she needed it, and in summer of 2017, she earned her GED. But she isn’t done yet – Rocio is now part of CCC’s Gateway Scholars program, which helps students transition into credit classes. She’ll be studying medical billing, then medical coding at Malcolm X College in the fall of 2018 on her way to working in medical field.
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