nicole valdez center starNicole took a big step by coming to Kim Hanson’s math class the first week of classes. Her goal is to pass the HiSET so that she can go to Beauty School. Another reason for getting her high school equivalency certificate is to set an example for her daughter. She says, “It’s hard to push your kid if you didn’t finish school yourself.”

Nicole almost graduated from high school in New York, but at the end of her senior year she had to drop out to work to put a roof over her head.  She hopes that she can brush up on her skills and that a lot of the work in both Pam Shore’s class and Kim Hanson’s class will be review for her, but she adds, “my writing is not great.” Also, she gets test anxiety. “I’m not a good test taker. I’m afraid I will get into the test and my mind will go blank.”

Nevertheless, Nicole is ready to overcome that anxiety and take the test. She is determined to prepare herself to succeed. “My whole world will expand when I complete it.”