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Congratulations to Emma Costanzo (pictured above), who passed the HiSet high school equivalency exam in February 2017 after attending HiSet classes for 6 months at Community Action’s Adult Learning Center.

Emma left high school as a freshman because of troublesome medical issues. It would be 6 years before Emma was well enough to focus on school work again. Emma researched high school equivalency programs and found that Community Action offered the most convenient location for her to study. She enrolled in CAI’s HiSet program in September 2016 and she hit the ground running.

Emma was nervous when she first enrolled. She says she had to push through the first two or three weeks before she became comfortable with the school experience again. She realized that she really enjoyed the classroom environment at Community Action, where students are encouraged to learn about and discuss current events as part of their preparation for the HiSet exam. “In a regular high school, students are too afraid to ask questions and really participate in class. In the HiSet class, all opinions are welcome and the conversations are great.” Emma also appreciated the individualized attention and tutoring she received.

Emma says that the most challenging aspect of preparing for the HiSet is doing school work outside of the classroom. It can be hard to be motivated but she feels strongly that doing homework is what really helped her to move toward her goal of passing the HiSet. The homework helped to keep the skills and knowledge accessible for the next class, the next lesson. Emma committed to a daily schedule of studying for 30-60 minutes per day – outside of class time. Emma’s commitment and method paid off. Within six months, she was ready to test with confidence.

Emma plans to enroll at Northern Essex Community College in the fall. She wants to study accounting and ultimately transfer to a four year college to earn her Bachelor’s Degree.

When asked what advice she would give to incoming students, Emma says, “You really have to want to succeed. Ask for extra help if you need it. Commit to doing the work inside and outside of class. It really prepares you for the test.”


Learn more about the CAI Adult Learning Center


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