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Success Stories

Success Story: Kelly, Penn Foster High School Diploma and Medical Assistant Graduate

Kelly graduating from the Penn Foster High School Diploma Pathways Program and wearing scrubs for Medical Assistant classes at Virginia College.

For Kelly Roberts, going back to school carried the hope of new opportunities and the promise of a well-earned sense of accomplishment. At the age of 52, she decided it wasn’t too late to finish what she had started.

After dropping out of high school at a young age to raise a family, Kelly worked small jobs on and off for years but never found herself qualified for the jobs and career she truly wanted.

“For many years I was ashamed of being a high school dropout,” Kelly says. “I was too embarrassed to talk about it and felt like a failure.”

Despite those feelings, Kelly chose not to give up. Instead, she began seeking other options to getting a high school diploma.

“After speaking with an admissions representative at Virginia College, I decided to enroll in the Penn Foster High School Pathways Program,” she said. Penn Foster services are offered at Virginia College.*

Getting a High School Diploma for Adults Through Penn Foster

Through the Penn Foster High School Diploma Pathways Program, things began to turn around for Kelly. The program allows students to earn an accredited Penn Foster high school diploma in as little as 12 weeks using the facilities on Virginia College campuses. Students can complete the program at their own pace and at no cost to them. Upon completion and with a high school diploma, graduates are able to apply for and enroll in higher education courses, including those at Virginia College.

It was hard work, but after a few short months of studying, Kelly became a high school graduate — and she didn’t stop there. Thanks to the encouragement of her family, friends and Virginia College staff, Kelly decided to enroll in Virginia College’s Medical Assistant program.

“Being a 53-year-old student was challenging to say the least,” says Kelly. “The staff at Virginia College kept me uplifted. They were always willing to tutor me and do whatever they could to help me.”

Completing Medical Assistant Externship

Having come such a long way, only one challenge remained for Kelly to complete her medical assistant diploma program: an externship.

“When I began my externship I was nervous,” Kelly says. “But I did not want my nervousness to overshadow my abilities. By the end of my externship I received rave reviews from everyone at my site!”

Kelly’s dedication paid off when she finished her program with a 3.7 GPA and passed her certification exam on her first attempt.

“For years I felt that my lack of education held me back from applying for jobs that I really wanted,” she says. “I knew I had to do something different.”

Looking back, she is grateful and proud of how far she has come. Kelly is now interviewing for jobs to begin her career as a Medical Assistant.

“I never need to be ashamed of being a high school dropout again. I’m more confident than ever before, and I know that my past does not dictate my future.”

Feeling inspired? Let us help you pursue your dream of going back to school. Request more information or give us a call at (866) 543-0136.

For more information about the Penn Foster High School Diploma Pathways Program, visit

* Penn Foster High School Diploma Pathways Program is not within the institutional scope of the College’s accreditation. Penn Foster High School is accredited by Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).