In 2011 Ashleigh Lattimore found herself a year away from turning 30, wondering if she was ever going to get her GED.

She had dropped out of high school 12 years before, part way through her junior year at Mountain Pointe High School due to health issues. Getting her GED was always in the back of her mind, she said, but it wasn’t until her 29th birthday that it clicked — if it was going to happen, she had to make it happen.

“My biggest turning point was when I turned 29 and I thought to myself, ‘a decade, you wasted a decade,’” Lattimore said. “That is a long time.”

She looked at local community colleges for GED classes and said they were expensive and overly time consuming. Searching online one day she found a summer program at Tempe Adult Education and after that, everything fell into place. It was a program that catered to the individual student and the people who were there, of all ages and backgrounds, wanted to be there.

“You don’t feel like you are in a high school environment, you are responsible for showing up, doing work and making it happen,” Lattimore said. “I didn’t remember anything I learned in high school. But the teachers push you to learn what you need to know.”

Obtaining a GED is a viable option for all those without a high school diploma. The class that Lattimore took was two times each week for three hours, over the course of two months.

She said that some of her classmates would fall behind or become frustrated, but a positive of the class is the teachers.

“The first day of school I met (GED instructor Tony) Trujillo and I knew he wasn’t like normal teachers,” Lattimore said. “He wants the students to believe in themselves. I had a problem of second-guessing myself, but he definitely built my confidence up.”

Now since obtaining her GED, Lattimore is striving for another goal — to become a nurse.

“Now I can go into the next chapter of my life,” she said.

Tempe Adult Education is offering GED classes at South Mountain Community College, Guadalupe Center, 9233 S. Avenida del Yaqui. The classes will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. June 4—Aug. 1, on Mondays and Wednesdays.

For tuition information and registration, contact the Tempe Adult Education Office, 500 W. Guadalupe Road, by Thursday, May 24 at (480) 839-0292, ext. 3097 or 3098.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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