Published on March 24th, 2017 | by Aasha Francis0
Meet Linda Rodriguez: A Student on the Rise
Linda Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico, came to the U.S. when she was 9 years old. Her childhood dream was to become a nurse, but in her teenage years she began having trouble in school that threatened her future aspirations. “I dropped out of high school when I was 16 because I was having issues with other students, then I found out I was pregnant and I dropped out,” Rodriguez said.
From that point on Rodriguez admits that she continued being in and out of trouble and developing a criminal background in her early twenties until three years ago, she reached a turning point. “I grew closer to God and decided to go back to school, I’ve been at Wright College Humboldt Park since August 2016 in the GED program then this past January 2017, I got into the IT bridge program and I enjoy it a lot,” Rodriguez said.
Initially, Rodriguez faced a few challenges with transportation to school, being unemployed, and even childcare. She struggled to find a way to go to school full time while being a full time mom.
“The Dean of the program, Emily Anderson, helped me by quickly providing documentation proving I’m a current student so I could continue getting paid child care services and then my younger daughter’s daycare helped me out with bus cards,” Rodriguez said.
Despite the hurdles she faced, Rodriguez overcame academically in a big way, by passing the High School Equivalency Test (Hi-SET) exam. She owes her gratitude most of all to the tutors and teachers who encouraged her. “Franklin, the math tutor helped me with the Hi-set exam to get my GED and Mr. Pettus, my language art and social studies teacher, was very supportive and told me that I was a good student and shouldn’t give up,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez offers a word of advice to students who may find themselves in her shoes. “Definitely give yourself credit for whatever you’ve been through because it’s made you stronger and wiser.”
At 29-years-old, Rodriguez is a full time student and mother of 11-year-old Damara and 2-year-old Dasia. She wants to pursue a career in social service to work with youth and plans to take her first college credit course in fall 2017.