Enrique Roca never liked school. He had to repeat 5th grade when he was attending elementary school in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He worked hard to try to be good in school—his parents expected him to do well. Though he had a sharp and inquisitive mind, his intelligence level was such that school bored him. He felt trapped and confined in the classroom. Despite his aversion to the classroom, he trudged his way up through the grade-levels but finally could take it no longer and dropped out of school in his senior year. He was 18 and began bouncing from job to job and ended up working in the security field—it was a field that never gave him the job satisfaction he wanted.
After some years, Enrique was motivated by his girlfriend who worked two jobs and went to school all at the same time. He began to feel that he, too, could chase his dream of finishing high school and becoming a computer technician. He enrolled in The English Center’s (M-DCPS) TLC Online GED program and began to study for his GED. He was 32 at this time and had been out of school for over 12 years. The online program worked perfectly for Enrique. He did not feel trapped in a classroom. He became an extremely dedicated and hard-working online student.
Enrique explains, “I hated going to school and worse sitting inside a classroom for eight hours would have been torture for me. So I started my online courses in March of 2009 and by September with help and motivation from my teachers Mrs. Adrienne Weinstein, Ms. Linda Pruitt and Mr. Tim West I felt ready to take the test. I took the Official GED Practice Test at The English Center and passed with good scores. Within a week, I was taking the GED exam. After waiting a long and scary two months for the results, on November 24th 2009 I received my GED diploma. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt like I had accomplished something that I should have done a long time ago.”
Enrique received his GED diploma on November 29, 2009. Motivated by his success, he decided to continue studying in adult education. He began to pursue his real career dream: becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He also began working with The English Center’s GED Concierge program and began assisting other GED exam preparation students in achieving their goals. Enrique befriends, guides, and motivates students to achieve their goal of obtaining their GED diploma. He also volunteers in our school’s Information Technology Department—using his technical expertise and talent to help improve and update our school’s technology resources.