Castellow ALC leads to Bright Future
By Danica Sveda (AA, ’10)
They say becoming a mother changes you — for Alanha Osseiran, it makes you more determined to reach your full potential. Osseiran’s young life was filled with obstacles. Spending most of her childhood in foster care, she was returned to her family when she was 16. Life back with her parents was difficult. There were few boundaries and little support, so she dropped out of school to work a full-time job. She tried to finish high school when she was18, but the pressure of working and paying rent was too much. After her son Daxton was born, her future became clearer. She wanted a better life for him than she had for herself. “I didn’t want him to ever have to worry about where we were staying if there was food or basic necessities like toilet paper like I had when I was younger.”
Osseiran knew that her high school degree would be essential if she were going to obtain a better life for herself and her son. She came to the Lee and Felicia Castellow Adult Learning Center to prepare and take her HiSET exam. The HiSET is a test that demonstrates the graduate has the same skills and knowledge as a high school graduate. During her time studying for the exam, she realized that she loved math. “I always hated math in school and was so confused in class, but while studying, I could actually see myself learning and getting better, and it wasn’t nearly as confusing as I thought it was before.”
As a new mom, the program wasn’t without its challenges. Osseiran’s time with Daxton was important, and she had to learn how to juggle being a mom, her job, studying — it was a lot, but she was able to pass all her tests and graduated October 25, 2020. Because she worked hard, she finished the program in a month and a half. She was pleased with how much she already knew and how fast she was able to fill the gaps in her knowledge needed to pass the exam.
Her goals are higher than just passing the HiSET; she has always wanted to be a nurse. Less than a month after passing her HiSET, she started taking certified nursing assistant classes. She decided to become a CNA after attending Smart Start, which is part of the HiSET learning program. It teaches students about college and career pathways that are available to them after graduation. She finished the CNA program in November 2020. A CNA job will help support her and Daxton while she works towards applying to the nursing program at Casper College. She was recently awarded the Opportunity Scholarship and was awarded the student spotlight from the Lee and Felicia Castellow Adult Learning Center when she graduated. She is excited about the future, and she knows that she can achieve her goals to make a better life for herself and her family.