Written by: Denise Nordell
Overcoming obstacles is a common theme among LearningQuest students. Sometimes the obstacles are tangible: difficult family situations, learning disabilities, trouble with the law, poverty or substance abuse. Sometimes the obstacles are internal, as Crista Davis can attest.
Crista’s biggest challenge was her self-doubt and struggles with feeling overwhelmed. But then she enrolled in Enterprise RESTART, which she credits with putting her back on track to pursue her goals. With the intervention of a guidance counselor and attending a program to work on her self-confidence she began to believe in herself, recognize her abilities and overcome her fears.
Crista reached out to Social Services in 2017 and a supervisor referred her to LearningQuest. Academically, Crista found math and writing to be her most difficult subjects. “But the instructors believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” she says, and she was able to complete her GED in a little less than two years. Crista is especially grateful to instructors Jason and Hallie, as well as Rosie and Reyna, who helped with her transition out of the program. She is also thankful to family members who supported her along the way, especially her sister, Lakisha, who traveled from San Jose to see Crista graduate in March.
Crista had more than her share of personal difficulties, including living in foster care and being a single mother of four. Along the way she would tell herself, “If I could overcome other obstacles in my life, I could do this, too.” The journey has not been easy, but Crista is hopeful and enthusiastic about the future. Her next step is to continue her education and to someday work with the community, helping others who are struggling with problems she has faced herself. According to Crista, “There is always a way out.”
Crista has come to realize that everything that she believed about herself was nothing more than the negative talk of others who wanted to tear her down. What advice does Crista have for someone who is thinking about getting a GED? “Use your life experience and believe in yourself,” she says. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t!”