Letter from Lisa

Lisa, a recent program graduate, had this to say about her time with us: 

Lisa with her GEDThis journey started 3 years ago, when I made a mistake and got pregnant at an early age. Well, what I thought was a mistake became the greatest blessing of my life as I became the mother of my beautiful baby girl, McKenzie.  

Due to complications in my pregnancy, I was hospitalized and homebound. I missed half of the 10th grade. The following year I tried going back but had to do the 9th-grade class that I didn’t pass on top of all the 10th and 11th-grade curriculum in order to graduate by the year 2020.  This was just too overwhelming, and I was forced to drop out of high school. My body and mind were just completely drained.  

I went to Indian River State College and enrolled in the GED (General Educational Development) program. I stayed with it for about a year and did not make any progress. I still had not passed even one subject of the GED. I felt defeated and stupid. At this point, I didn’t know what to do and felt like I was not going anywhere. It was then I went back to Vero Beach High School and said to my counselor, “the college isn’t helping me; so, what do I do? “ 

They sent me over to Melanie Tarnoff at Eckerd Connects and Career Source Youth Connections and all I can say is… WOW!   

I started in February of 2021 and graduated on June 24th, 2021! In just four months of steadily going and with the help of Ms. Melanie, I finally did it! I earned my high school diploma!!   

 I am so very thankful for this woman! She helped me to apply for financial aid and enroll in college. I am currently enrolled in the Cosmetology Program at The Salon Professional Academy in Melbourne, where I am a full-time student.  

Without Ms. Melanie I would never have made it! She is truly blessed by God himself. She isn’t just a teacher; she is like a second mom. She treats you the way she would one of her own and SHE ACTUALLY CARES!  

I just want to say thank you so much for everything Eckerd Connects and Career Source Youth Connections have helped me accomplish. 

– Lisa 

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