Ana Bojorquez was beginning to think she would never earn a high school diploma, no matter what she did. She bought preparation books, enrolled in classes and more, but nothing panned out.
“I’ve been trying to get my diploma for years, ever since I was forced to leave high school,” Bojorquez said. “I was trying everything to do it on my own.”
But then Bojorquez noticed an advertisement for a free program through Pikes Peak Library District that helps participants earn accredited high school diplomas online.
“The fact that it was free, that it was online, those were a big deal for me,” she said. “The GED class schedules just didn’t work for me.”
Bojorquez was brought to the United States from El Salvador as a very small child, and adopted. Her adoptive mother, for reasons unknown, changed Bojorquez’s age on a lot of her documents and in the school system.
“They weren’t a very good family, so I ended up back in the foster system,” Bojorquez said.
After being placed in foster care and re-enrolled into the school system, the school district made a startling discovery.
“The school saw my birth certificate, and they said, ‘Why are you in the 9th grade when you are 17 years old?’”
The district took her out of high school, even though she begged to stay. Bojorquez was enrolled in a GED class at a community college instead.
At the same time, her social workers knew that her eighteenth birthday was approaching; Bojorquez would no longer be eligible for support from the foster care system and needed a job to survive.
“They did provide me with transitional housing at the time, but I had no food, so I had to work. I just did not have time to finish high school.”
After experiencing success as a realtor’s assistant, the thought of a high school diploma faded from her mind until she met her future husband who was determined to support her in achieving her dreams. He finally convinced her to focus on studying full-time for a diploma.
“For a long time, I said no when he told me to leave my job,” Bojorquez said. “I was so used to taking care of myself. Finally I gave into it, and I quit my job. Within a week of me finally deciding to leave my job, he got fired.”
The couple relocated from California to Colorado Springs in search of work, had children, and once again her hopes for a diploma were dashed.
That’s when she saw the advertisement on PPLD’s website for Career Online High School. For Bojorquez, who does custodial work for her church and volunteers at the school her two boys attend, an online program without a huge financial burden was an enticing option.
She applied in March of 2017 and received her scholarship soon after. She then began to work tirelessly toward the goal she had for more than a decade. Less than two years later, Bojorquez celebrated a huge educational milestone. She completed the Career Online High School program and was the proud recipient of an accredited high school diploma at a graduation celebrated on Oct. 10 at East Library in Colorado Springs.
“I am very grateful to the Pikes Peak Library District. I wouldn’t have graduated high school, something I’ve wanted to do for years now, without the library’s help.”
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