Rome ACCESS Site

“I got you!”

Daisy Fernandez came into my office proudly wearing a new “Potsdam” shirt. Her daughter, Brianna recently began her first year of college at SUNY Potsdam to become a History teacher. Daisy is one proud mother! Daisy should also be proud of herself. She is on track to graduate with her High School Equivalency diploma in a few short weeks through the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) at the Rome ACCESS Site.

Daisy grew up in the Bronx; she became pregnant at 16 and didn’t finish school. No one really pushed her to stay in school she said. She realized early on she was responsible for herself and her daughter. In some ways, Daisy said, they grew up together. She got a job at the Bronx Zoo and was raising her daughter on her own. She met Eric, an Aircraft Mechanic and later they moved to the Rome area. A few years later, Isaiah was born and now they are a family of four. Daisy works full time at the Wingate by Wyndham in Rome having worked her way up from housekeeping to, the Front Desk with a multitude of responsibilities and a stronger sense of self confidence than ever before.

When Daisy first thought about getting her High School Equivalency diploma, she was afraid she wouldn’t fit in, she didn’t have any confidence in herself and she didn’t want to waste her time when she had a family and a job to think about. Daisy often told her children “You can do anything, I’ll help you, and I got you!” Soon they began to tell her the same “You can do it, we’ll help you, I got you!” Daisy tried several literacy programs through the years.

She tried the Literacy classes and liked them but her schedule could be crazy, she tried the Home Study program but needed more of a hands-on approach. She began the National External Diploma Program; she was anxious and nervous about how it might work. She soon discovered the program is hard and challenging BUT also achievable. Daisy was able to work at her own pace and the feeling of accomplishing a difficult task was the best feeling in the world. Daisy has worked really hard both at home and at her weekly meetings with Sue Takacs and she is on track to graduate with her High School Equivalency diploma very soon.

Daisy will attend the BOCES Adult Education Graduation Ceremony in June 2018 to celebrate the adult students who have earned their High School Equivalency diplomas. Students are provided with caps, gowns and graduation year tassel. Daisy plans on reserving a large group of seats for her family and friends to attend her graduation. Front and center will be Daisy’s family including her partner Eric and her children; Brianna and Isaiah. I expect there will be lots of tears, laughter, hugging and an “I got you!” for Daisy.

If you do not have your High School Equivalency diploma and are interested in learning more about getting it, please call us at (315) 334 - 8000 or go online at Classes are at no cost to you to earn your diploma are offered at a variety of locations. Please call today to learn more, there are many options that will fit your life. It’s NEVER too late!