Testimonials

Shamont Andrews

Shamont Andrews
Age: 20
Program/Major: Business & Accounting
Former High School: Issaquah High School (GED)
CEO: 2007 – 2012

 
In the summer of 2007,  I was 16 and entering my Junior year at Issaquah High School. I was told by my counselor that I was not going to graduate High School on time with my 2009 classmates. Based upon this news my counselor provided me three options: Obtain my GED, enroll in Running Start or enroll in the Career Education Options program. Running Start was not a viable option for me because I, nor my family, could afford to pay for this program. After attending an information session and speaking with the CEO advisors, I knew that CEO was the right program for me. The staff made me feel that I could be myself while also providing me the tools and resources to succeed. The CEO program has helped me become a strong and independent individual. Not only was I able to obtain my GED through Bellevue College with the help of Sheila Schultz, the King county counselor who works with CEO, but I can truly say that without the CEO program I wouldn’t be as proactive with extracurricular activities and productive in my education as I am today. Currently, I have an Associate in Arts: General Studies Degree and Certificate of Accomplishment in Bookkeeping. My last quarter as a CEO student will be spring 2012 and I plan on obtaining my Associate in Arts in Business Management.


 

Hannah Johanson

Hannah Johanson
Age: 20
Program/Major: Nursing
Former High School: Kelsey Creek Homeschool Center (GED)
CEO: 2007 – 2012

I started the CEO program in 2007, a few weeks after my sixteenth birthday. Previously attending an alternative education center, I found that the high school classes offered there were not challenging, nor interesting to me. I wanted to attend college, but I wasn’t sure how it would be possible given my own, and my family’s, financial situation. Fortunately, a few CEO advisors had come to speak at my school the year before, sparking my interest in the program. After much discussion with my family, and teachers, I decided to ‘try out’ the CEO program. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made – it took away the financial burden of tuition, so I could focus on studying for my classes, as well as providing me with a built-in support system of staff, advisors, and other students. During my five-year experience as a CEO student, I have successfully attained my GED, an Associate in Arts and Sciences (AAS) Transfer Degree, Nursing Assistant Certificate, and been accepted into Bellevue College’s Nursing Program. With much support from the CEO program’s case manager, the instructors at Bellevue College, as well as the program advisors and office staff, I was able to achieve more from my first college experience than I had ever imagined. As I prepare to graduate with my Associates in Nursing Degree at the end of this year, I feel so grateful to have been a CEO student. My confidence as a professional, as well as preparedness for the workplace, is due in part to the basic skills taught, and academic expectations upheld, by the CEO program. Thank you for better preparing me for life, CEO program.


 

Arlan Stutler
Age: 17
Program/Major: Pursuing Genetic Science
Also part of BC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program
CEO: 2011-Present

 
I entered the CEO program for what I imagine is the reason everyone in my class did–the education system failed me. After years upon years of slowly falling further and further away from being in control of my education–which for me, as it is for everyone my age, was a significant portion of my life–CEO has been a fresh start, and one I needed very badly.I want to go into genetic science, so I’ll need a medical degree, and probably a Ph.D as well. And knowing that I’m finally working towards that end in a meaningful fashion, having that control over my education and my transition into adulthood…it’s what I needed. And CEO has provided it. I’m currently in my first quarter with the program, so I haven’t yet taken a full credit load, but I have a number of college credits for AP classes, and I’m taking a science/technology career-education class. It’s still early–I’ve yet to dive into the college life wholly–but I’m hopeful. For the first time in many years, my dreams are looking more attainable by the day.


 

Kelly Paz
Program/Major: Undecided
Age: 19
Former High School: Cedarcrest High School
CEO: 2010-2011

 
I’ll be honest with you, I was a terrible student in high school. I skipped class and I did horrifying things that brainless teens do. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was seventeen with no way to pay for college. I found out about this program from an old teacher at Cedarcrest High School, to which I am so thankful. CEO has given me another chance to have an education and to go somewhere with my life. Currently, I have a 4.0 GPA and was given an invitation to Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society at Bellevue College. I also found a job as an assistant preschool teacher. CEO gave me the confidence to believe in myself and to be an advocate of the world. The instructors in this program truly do care. They speak their minds, challenge you, and in doing so, prepare you for the real adult world. On those rough days when I want to quit school, my job, or even life, I look at what I have accomplished and who is around to support me and I am motivated to move forward. My goal is to attain my AA in Early Childhood Education, and then transfer to a University and hopefully major in nutrition. It is my ultimate goal to travel to third world countries and help children.