A Second Chance for a High School Diploma and a Future

Posted December 4, 2012
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog aseconchanceforadiploma 2012

Haydee Alman­za did­n’t think she would need a high school diplo­ma when she dropped out at age 18. She did­n’t think she’d need it when she found a steady job at a Los Ange­les cloth­ing shop.

It was­n’t until she had her first child at age 21 that the real­i­ty hit her.

I want­ed my son to have a par­ent with a high school diplo­ma,” says Alman­za, now age 25. I want­ed to fin­ish. I want­ed him to know what was possible.”

Alman­za looked into sev­er­al adult edu­ca­tion pro­grams but found they cost too much mon­ey or made it hard to keep her job. Her fam­i­ly didn’t believe she was seri­ous and wouldn’t sup­port her. Then she found a brochure for the Los Ange­les Con­ser­va­tion Corps.

The pro­gram pro­vides aca­d­e­m­ic sup­port, as well as employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple ages 18 to 24. Stu­dents in the Young Adults Corps take eight-week blocks of high school class­es, alter­nat­ing with eight-week blocks of paid, on-the-job training.

To date, the Corps has helped more than 700 young adults earn their high school degrees and pro­vid­ed schol­ar­ships to more than 500 for­mer or cur­rent par­tic­i­pants work­ing toward col­lege degrees or voca­tion­al certificates.

The Corps also serves younger teens in its two full-time char­ter schools and in its Clean & Spring pro­gram, which pays 14- to 17-year old stu­dents for com­mu­ni­ty beau­ti­fi­ca­tion work. And it offers enrich­ment activ­i­ties and tutor­ing to ele­men­tary and mid­dle school stu­dents through after­school programs.

Alman­za earned her high school diplo­ma in four months and is now in her sec­ond year at com­mu­ni­ty col­lege. She hopes to trans­fer those cred­its to a four-year col­lege and study fine arts or sociology.

This post is related to:

Popular Posts

View all blog posts   |   Browse Topics

Youth with curly hair in pink shirt

blog   |   June 3, 2021

Defining LGBTQ Terms and Concepts

A mother and her child are standing outdoors, each with one arm wrapped around the other. They are looking at each other and smiling. The child has a basketball in hand.

blog   |   August 1, 2022

Child Well-Being in Single-Parent Families