For Dale Daniels high school was “just brutal.” Nearly 13 years ago, at the age of 16, Dale dropped out and called it quits. It wasn’t until 2007 that Dale decided to pursue his high school equivalency. But for Dale, the road wasn’t easy. From 2007 to 2013, Dale took the GED® test three times, and unfortunately, never passed. Dale had to dig deep. He asked himself, “Do I want to give up or fight for my place in life? Do I want that nice job, nice car and potentially better life?” Despite the setbacks, Dale chose to fight.
When Dale heard that the “new test,” the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™, was available in Indiana, he thought he’d try one last time. Well, on June 18, 2014, Dale passed the TASC test. It was exactly 7 years to the date of his first GED test.
Dale, now age 28, is currently enrolled at Purdue University Calumet and studying Political Science in the hopes of one day becoming The President of the United States. We are so proud of Dale and are delighted to share his inspirational success story:
1. What kept you from earning your high school equivalency?
A number of things… First, life just got hard. As a teenager, I went through a deep and dark time. Once I found a job, I got complacent. I figured I had a job that would provide for me for the long run… But boy, I was wrong.
2. What was your motivation and inspiration for earning your high school equivalency?
I wanted to move forward in life. I wanted to experience the joys and excitement of college and achieve things I had never achieved before at a point and time in my life that I felt I had let so many people down, including my own family. They became my inspiration; it became my goal to make them proud. My uncle is a teacher and he started to show me the importance of an education… The importance of having the opportunity to live the life you want with the power of knowledge. Also, seeing how hard my mom worked to take care of me and my younger sister made really want to have a chance to take care of her when she gets older.
3. Did you take the TASC test online or using paper-and-pencil?
I took the TASC test at a testing center and had the option to take the test with paper-and-pencil or online. I chose paper-and-pencil and it is what worked for me.
4. How did you prepare for the TASC test?
I prepared for the test like I had with all the previous exams: Study, study and more studying. With the TASC test, though, every chance I got I tried to find different ways to apply my math skills. Whether it was buying certain things in the store, or calculating bills and future purchases, I made everything a word problem and tried to figure it out in my head and then on paper. Also, since math was my biggest weakness I focused on that more than anything.
5. Did you face any challenges during the process? How did you overcome them?
The main challenge for me was math, and it was a battle! Math was the only thing between me and passing the GED test. But when it came time for the TASC test, I overcame my math challenge by making it my tool instead of making it my hurdle. Math is supposed to help you, not defeat you. So I took that approach and I ended up finally beating that math dark cloud that hampered me for 7 years!
6. What plans do you have for your future? What are your goals, dreams, and ambitions?
My plans are to finish college, and get a full time job so I can do more in life. I want to be able to change the world. One of my dreams is to become President of the United States. It's every boy and girl’s dream, but it's something I want to make a reality or at least try!
7. What is your number one piece of advice or tip for all TASC test takers?
It only takes a few hours of your time to study. If you can play a video game for 2 hours, you can study for an hour. If you can watch a TV show for 30 minutes, you can work on your core needs in that span of time. Most of all, go in thinking about the new start you will have – the feeling of holding that diploma in your hand. It's like winning a world heavy weight title and it's something I wear proudly.
8. Were the colleges you applied to familiar and accepting of the TASC test?
The college I selected recognized the TASC test and its validity, and I was accepted into the Purdue University Calumet program. Purdue gave me that boost I needed to say: "Hey, an extension of a Big Ten University accepted me (based on passing the TASC test).” I found out that the TASC test is just as valid as graduating.
9. Fill in the blank: Ten years from now, ______________.
Ten years from now, I hope that I am able to see my work be put into reality and my dreams become something I am proud of.