Natasha Sawyer is a wife and mother who works the night shift full-time to support her family. This fall, she started Developmental Reading and Writing class to help her transition into college where she hopes to earn her Business degree. Her dream is to eventually open her own hunting and fishing shop that will house a competition archery range. She wants to specialize in compound bows and accessories. “When my son gets old I will teach him how I got started and how to work a job that isn’t running its employees into the dirt….This business won’t only be about selling and making money,” Natasha says. “I believe getting more and more young teens off the streets and interested in this sport will make an impact.”

When I was twelve my mother took me out of public school to me homeschooled. Even though I was technology meant to be getting home schooled, no homework of any-kind was being given to me.  My daily day would consist of daily chores from 6AM till I went to bed at night around 9pm. These cores also included waiting on my mother. In most cases respecting you parents doing chores is the way of life. But when a child needs to be in school learning but is at home at the age of twelve from daylight to dark. This hurt me more then anything else.

Nothing worth being proud of myself is ever handed to me. 

Example. When I decided at the age of 15 I wanted to get my diploma I bought the ged book. By this time I was living with my brother and i studied and studied every day u till my grade was barely enough to reach in the system too get my ged. Once I was the age sixteen and I finally got accepted into the adult ed program. This was an extremely difficult time for me. Everyday I did classwork for 8 hours a day. As a teen/young adult who was extremely far behind in learning anything I needed to know for the knowledge I was behind in. 

During this process I was also studying to get my drivers listens. Every week taking he pretest for The get was always exciting. Once the results come through was always devastating to say the least. I learned during this time the GED tests are actually formed by talking to people from schools in Arkansas the kids would take it and a lot of them wouldn’t even pass it them selves. The ged test is extremely difficult. Every 3 years the Arkansas State has to change it up to either harder versions or easier ones. Eventually I got extremely discouraged and I wanted to give up so bad.

My dad encouraged me to just keep trying and stick it out so I could prove it to myself. Each section of the test is a single test. The English is its own called the RLA. The science is its own. The social studies is also its own get same with the math. Each test could be taken at different times or weeks. Getting very discouraged every-time I failed a test seemed like the end of the world. Once I got into an argument with my boyfriend about me failing so many times which got in me even more discouraged. It got to the point where I just gave up on thinking I would ever pass the test. I stayed persistently with going to class and doing it online.

I never knew something could feel so amazing and be so proud of myself.  Click To Tweet

Obtaining my GED is so important to me but yet seemed so impossible at the time. I knew I wanted to go places in life but with out that diploma there was no way I’d b able to get the things accomplished. To this day the hardest thing I have ever done in my life would have to be obtaining my GED diploma. When the day came I actually gave up I didn’t go to class for about a week. I got an email about the state of Arkansas lowering the final GED testing scores which actually meant I would finally pass that hard test.

This seemed to be the biggest accomplishment of my life but yet others didn’t think it was a big deal. From where I started at on the learning level to then I was shooting for the moon kinda happy. There is no better feeling the day my cap and gown was received in the mail. When I walked down the aisle for graduation pictures it felt like I was am angel walking on water. I never knew something could feel so amazing and be so proud of myself. There I was on graduation day remembering all the hard times I had. All the tears and feeling let down.

For me accomplishments don’t come easy.  Nothing worth being proud of myself is ever handed to me. Now here I am in college to prove to myself that I can once again accomplish something. I do struggle. I have a hard time understanding a comprehensive problem. So a lot of the times when I read really technology things I don’t understand and I have to read them over and over again and sometimes still never understand them. Because of this I am struggling in some college classes. I know the day I do achieve and receive my college diploma will be an extremely magical day. This is part because I will be able to where the exact same cap and gown from my Ged graduation. The day I received my ged diploma in the mail is a feeling that can’t be explained. 

4 Comments

  • Frankie Grace says:

    Love this you are very smart I love this best idea ever you are an amazing person to help others and the kids thank you for what you are doing.

    • Gwendolann Faulkenberry says:

      Thank you for your encouragement! We have some pretty amazing people here in Arkansas. It’s an honor to be able to share their stories. Would love to hear yours! So glad to have you be a part of Arkansas Strong.

  • Frankie Grace says:

    I’m very proud of you!

  • Sherry Hesson says:

    I am very proud of you. You put in all the hard work and didn’t give up.

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