Johanna Arroyo dropped out of high school because she felt like she didn’t fit in. Soon after, she became pregnant and in 2014 delivered her son Johan. A few months later, a friend of hers told her about the GED program YWCA’s Family Literacy program offered a free program with childcare available so she could further her education knowing her son was in good hands.
As soon as Johan was 6 months old, she joined the program. She struggled greatly with math and wasn’t taking the program too seriously. Shortly thereafter, she stopped going to classes and went back to work.
Quickly realizing her mistake, Johanna asked her employer for Thursdays off so she could come back to attend classes. They were supportive and she dove back into her studies for a second try. The teachers at YWCA saw just how hard she was willing to work.
“They told me they saw my potential. When I came back I didn’t have to start the whole process over again, they let me pick up where I left off. They were very motivating and encouraging, and wanted to see me succeed.” Johanna says.
Making friends in the class proved to be a bit of distraction. But, after one of her friends left the program, she saw this friend wasn’t doing much with her life, and she didn’t want to end up like that. She wanted to reach her goal and make her life into something both she and her son could be proud of. She became fully focused on school.
When the GED certificate came in the mail, Johanna’s mother teared up. She was proud of her daughter for accomplishing more than what she did. Now with the GED classes behind her, Johanna moved on to the next step: college.
With classes at Tunxis Community College starting up in January of 2017, Johanna is looking forward to this new journey learning about criminal justice. She then has plans to attend the police academy. She is particularly interested in investigating and would like to become a detective on the police force.
Johanna said without the GED program, it's likely she would not have a good job or a bright future. “I would rather work a good job for my son so he can have all the things I didn’t when I was younger."
Congratulations Johanna! All of us here at the YWCA are very proud of you and wish you success in all your endeavors.