In charge of her future

April Matlock missed her high school graduation seven years ago — she dropped out her sophomore year.

Now Matlock, 25, knows the feeling of success as well as a tassel hanging down and tickling her cheek. She earned her General Education Development (GED) diploma early this year.

On June 13, six graduates of the Multi-Service Center GED program celebrated their accomplishment at the Federal Way Regional Library. The graduates wore caps with tassels and received their diplomas at a ceremony in front of family and friends. Ten local people have earned a GED at the Multi-Service Center this year.

"I'm very proud of myself, you know, it's a big accomplishment for me," Matlock said. "I just decided that it was time to start, you know, working on my future."

Matlock, a Federal Way resident, dropped out of Stadium High School in Tacoma in 10th grade after deciding that she didn't like going to school and would rather spend that time hanging out with her friends.

"I ran into a bump in the road. In high school, I was one of those students who didn't want to go to class. I didn't want to wake up and go to school," she said. "I probably wasn't passing to the 11th grade anyway."

One day, about a year ago, Matlock decided it was time to work on her GED. She began attending free classes at the Multi-Service Center two days a week.

She earned her GED in March and began attending medical assisting classes at Everest College, formerly named Bryman College. This month, Matlock was named to the Director's Honor Roll. She plans to graduate in December.

"I just decided that it was time to start, you know, working on my future," she said. "I've grown up a lot."

She encourages young people to be persistent through high school and graduate on time.

"Your friends aren't going to be there when you're trying to find a job and you can't because you don't have an education," Matlock said. "It's not easy to go back when you're 20-something-years-old and learn stuff that you should have learned when you were younger."

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

To learn more about the Multi-Service Center GED courses, call Stephanie Parsons at (253) 838-6810, Ext. 112.

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