Amber Petersheim with her HiSEC DiplomaStudent Success Spotlight

Amber Petersheim has an amazing story of her journey to earn her HiSET credentials.  She has overcome a multitude of challenges to reach the day when her HiSET diploma was in her hands!

It began on August 31, 2018, when she came to the Sundance office of the EWC College and Career Readiness Center and began her studies with Instructor Janet Cole Lake.  Amber lives in Hulett, 40 miles from Sundance, and for well over a year, she had neither a driver’s license nor a vehicle.  She made arrangements with (good!) friends to bring her over for her two- to three-hour classes.  Amber works, so her schedule only allowed her to come to classes twice a month.  Progress was slow at this stage.

When she was getting closer to being ready to test, the process of verifying her learning disability began.  Amber had not been a part of the public school system, so she was referred to Vocational Rehabilitation for myriad testing and another referral to another agency that confirmed her learning disability.

Amber got a vehicle and her driver’s license, so she started attending classes on a weekly basis.  Progress was being made!  Then COVID came along. . . But with the ingenuity of the educational world, Zoom classes began!   So Amber and Janet began a virtual educational journey, which effectively built on the learning foundation that had been slowly but steadily built.

Amber’s victories began in 2021—she passed her Reading test in February, Social Studies in April, Science in July, and Writing in November.  Amber got the results of her Math test on March 31—she had passed and was officially a HiSET graduate!  Amber will celebrate with several other HiSET graduates at the graduation ceremony in Sundance on May 23, 2022.

Here’s what Amber had to say about her HiSET experience:  “My teacher, Janet Lake, put a lot of time and effort (and patience!) into helping me get my HiSET equivalency.  She gave me the recommendation to go to Vocational Rehabilitation to get tested for my learning disability, so I would have extra time for testing.  (I had no idea how to get started on this or where to go.)  Also, Janet was always so willing to work around my work schedule.  When I was too busy to make it to class during the week days, she took the time to help me study at her home.  Janet is an outstanding teacher!!!”

In reflecting on Amber’s success story, Instructor Janet Cole Lake commented that “Amber’s persistence in attaining this goal is nothing short of incredible.  There were many times of disappointment and frustration, but she pushed through them all.  Her determination is very admirable.  While I’m thrilled with ALL students who complete their HiSET, Amber’s success is one of the biggest highlights of my teaching career!”

The Sundance office of the EWC College and Career Readiness Center is currently accepting new students (at no cost to the student) for ESL, high school equivalency, or reading and math refreshers for college prep.  Contact Janet Lake at 307-283-2215.