Marilyn Guzman is more determined than ever to get her GED. It was in seventh grade that she dropped out of school after becoming a teenage mom at 14. Soon afterwards, she started working.
At age 25, Guzman was hired as a customer service representative for an auto glass company and remained employed there for 23 years, until the Belleville business closed its doors last January. Two months later, in March of 2013, the former customer service rep. and office manager was picked up by another auto glass business.
The stipulation, however, was that she would have to get her high school diploma.
“I hadn’t been in a school setting for most of my life,” said Guzman, a 49-year-old Newark native who is now married and the mother of three grown children, all of whom are high school graduates.
Last October, Guzman enrolled in New Community’s Adult Learning Center in Newark and began taking classes at 201 Bergen Street in Newark to prepare her for the GED, or high school equivalency test.
“I was nervous, but it was a very welcoming environment at New Community,” she said. “My instructor, Ms. Skyles, was very nice and helped me build my confidence. I hadn’t been in a classroom for so many years.”
Guzman, who grew up in Newark’s North Ward, has performed so well academically, that she was recently awarded a center scholarship, covering the cost of her final 10-weeks of classes, along with books. She plans to take the GED test in March.
For more information on the Adult Learning Center, please call 973 558-5536.