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NEDP Graduate Stories

For NEDP graduates, completing a high school diploma opens the opportunity to transition to postsecondary education, improve employment options, provide positive role models for their children, and improve their lives in other significant ways.

The personal testimonials below are just a few of the success stories of our graduates.


Pursuing Higher Education, Improving Employment Opportunities,
and Changing Lives!

NEDP Graduate in Calvert County, Maryland Speaks

Maryland — Bravo, Ana!

The CASAS NEDP team congratulates Ana De La O, who is among the first NEDP full-launch graduates!

Ana started the NEDP in January 2013 in the Calvert County Public Schools adult education program. Ana is one of the first clients to complete the NEDP in the Web-based system.

Calvert County Public Schools is one of eleven (11) NEDP agencies that decided to full launch in January, meaning that they retired the NEDP paper-and-pencil assessment and solely offered the Web-based NEDP to participants.

Mary Gutowski, Ana’s assessor, tells us “Ana was a wonderful client. She worked diligently and was always prepared for the in-office check. The online program was new to all of us, and through her hard work and sense of humor, Ana helped me stay on top of things.”

Working as an administrative assistant in her country (El Salvador), Ana decided to move to the United States for a better future at the age of 21 and settled in Maryland. She found out that to be successful in this country, she had to begin by learning English so she enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and improved her language skills — all while working during the day in construction. Through her job, Ana met her husband, an artist who also works as a nuclear welder at Constellation Energy in Calvert County. Ana and her husband have a two-year-old son so Ana scheduled her study time in the early morning hours before her son woke up. This allowed her to dedicate the rest of her day to her home and her son. Her focus is on furthering his education with activities such as story time at the library, swimming classes, and playing outside.

Ana believes that “If you really want something you have to put effort to it, stay positive and never give up no matter what. That‘s my advice to others who for any reason couldn’t continue their education but are still wanting to do it.” Earning her diploma makes her feel very happy, and proud of herself because she has accomplished one of her goals. She believes that "It is never too late to be what you wanted to be.” Ana is now planning to enter the local community college to begin a degree in business.  Her goal is to earn a degree, and to be successful and grow a company with her skills, and also to help manage the business side of her husband’s art career. Ana’s husband sculpts small and large metal pieces of artwork and has exhibited in Art fest, a local arts show in Calvert County.

Congratulations, Ana!

Ana De La O 

Mary Gutowski, Ana De La O, Stacey Downey

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