Gretchen Lange didn't like high school much the first time around.
"I wanted to be the adult, I didn't want to go to school. I wanted to do what I wanted to do. So I took the selfish step, the stupid step and just left," says Lange.
Now, 16 years and four kids later, she's finally taken the right steps to get her education back on track, through Rock Valley College's G.E.D. Illinois online study program.
"I found the online classes and I pretty much jumped at that opportunity because I could do it at home. I didn't have to worry about anybody else and what they were gonna say and if I was faster than anyone else or slower than anyone else or lost," says Lange.
Once Lange got into the program, it turns out she was anything but lost. Her test results put her in the top ten percent of all G.E.D. grads in the country and she was the first ever unanimous selection for student speaker at the G.E.D. graduation.
"I hope that whatever we go for in our lives we go for it for sure and get it. Congratulations everyone," Lange said to wrap up her speech.
Now, with her diploma in hand, Lange says she can finally lead by example to show her children education is important. In fact she's looking into scholarships to pursue a college degree.
She says, "Anything's possible. That's all there is to it. Anything's possible now. I can do whatever i want."
200 students completed their G.E.D. this year through Rock Valley College programs. On average, 60 percent of all G.E.D. grads go on to pursue higher education.
For more information about R.V.C.'s Adult Education Program contact Diana Barthelman, Director of Adult Education at (815) 921-2002.