After dropping out of school 12 years ago, 28-year-old Dafani Peralta has accomplished something the mom of six once thought she never would — earning her GED.
The New Jersey mom has earned her diploma from Paterson Adult & Continuing Education (P.A.C.E.). She told Good Morning America it was important to receive her diploma to be an inspiration for her kids, “I want them to see what their minds can do. I don’t have to just say to go to school and graduate, I’m doing it.. We have struggled so much as a family. Now, we have opportunity, but it took us a long [time].”
Her children are 12, 10, 8, 7, 5 and 4. Peralta dropped out of high school when she became pregnant with her first child.
“I saw that my mom didn’t even care about my education,” she explained.
“She was really mad at me because I was pregnant. It was really hard for me because I had my friends there and I wanted a better future for my daughter.”
She continued, “Everything was new that first year, just the responsibility and trying to keep my baby alive. I wasn’t really thinking about education that first year, but as she got older, I wanted to [go back to school] to help her education at home.”
Peralta tried to return to school multiple times but with the price of child care and day-to-day living expenses, it wasn’t possible, “There were a lot of situations going on and I had to give up something and I gave up my education to focus on my kids Every time I’d go to get a job, they always ask for a high school diploma and I didn’t have it.”
Due to the COVID pandemic she was able to take online courses, which allowed her to secure the diploma.
Peralata is hoping to further her education via online classes at Berkeley College.