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My name is Katie McElaney. I am 24 years old and a mother to my precious 3 year old daughter. When I was a teenager, school wasn’t very important to me, so I ended up dropping out of high school when I was 16 years old.
At first, I was so happy about it; no more getting up early to get to school on time, no more homework, no more worries about what to wear. At first everything looked great but once I turned 18, I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life. All my friends had their high school diplomas and were heading off to college. I, on the other hand, was working at McDonalds. That didn’t feel good at all. Therefore, I decided to go back to school.
Once I turned 19, I was ready to go back to receive my GED. Instead I found out I was pregnant. My life had turned upside down. The father of my child and I were having problems within our relationship and my living situation was not stable. Being pregnant created more stress then I’d already been dealing with. I knew in my heart, I was not going to be able to juggle being pregnant, and go to school and deal with all the issues I had going on in my life. Therefore I never went back. I always kept in the back of my mind, that my journey of success was not at all over, it was just beginning.
Back in March 2016, I was having some problems financially and turned to the Department of Transitional Assistance for help. They not only helped me financially but they also helped me put my daughter in a good daycare, and referred me to the Young Parents Program at Training Resources of America-Brockton MA. I have now, been enrolled there for just about 5 months. Everyone at TRA is amazing; they are right there to help you every step of the way. TRA helped me with everything from studying to receive my High School Equivalency certificate, to helping me write a resume, to helping me find a job. I have never had a better support team.
On October 25, 2016, I received my High School Equivalency Certificate. I couldn’t have done it without the support of TRA. I just want to say thank you to everyone that worked with me there. I now have a job and plan to work until I enroll in Massasoit Community College to major in psychology. I am very proud to say that my success has made me very happy and I look forward to continuing this journey.