Desirae Woodward – ABE and Central Technology Center
NOW when she goes to a restaurant, she can sit and relax.
THEN: A waitress and a single mom. Desirae Woodward had dropped out of high school as a sophomore, and waiting tables was all she had ever done. Irregular work hours forced her to miss many of her children’s activities, and her job didn’t provide health benefits.
Food service was her only marketable skill, and even though she enjoyed her job, Woodward wanted more. In 2019, she enrolled in the adult basic education program at Central Technology Center. Determined to build a career for herself, she received her HiSET high school equivalency diploma a year later.
“I wanted to set a good example for my kids,” she said.
At Central Tech, Woodward
- Gained computer skills and became more familiar with technology.
- Developed good study skills and habits, which improved her testing scores.
- Learned how to create a resume, which helped her land a job.
“I also gained confidence in herself and what I am capable of,” she said.
Having a diploma opened up doors for Woodward.
“I was able to apply for jobs I couldn’t apply for without a diploma or a GED,” she said.
She used that diploma to get a job at Central Tech. She said she uses her new skills every day.
NOW: No longer a waitress. Woodward said she has a “normal” job with great hours, working as secretary and classroom aide for Central Tech’s truck driver training program. She answers and directs calls, inputs student and class information, prepares graduation materials and orients incoming students. She receives on-the-job training in Word, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint and Lumatech software.
Woodward’s new job offers health benefits, and she gets to spend more time with her kids.
“CareerTech changed my life,” she said, adding that now, she gets to do her part to improve the lives of others.
She’s not finished learning. Woodward said she wants to build on her current skills and learn “any new thing thrown my way.”
“I want to raise my kids and just be happy,” she said.
“I want my kids to know you can do anything you set your mind to.”Desirae Woodward, high school grad and Central Tech employee