Fresno student defies odds, walks across graduation stage

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The soon to be Fresno Adult School graduate, Jamie Matney, will be accepting her diploma in front of hundreds. (KFSN)

The soon to be Fresno Adult School graduate, Jamie Matney, will be accepting her diploma in front of hundreds.

After three attempts she is finally getting her GED, but that is not all. She is also letting the world know what it took for her to get this moment.

At 13, her mother died. Matney was forced to go into foster care along with one of her siblings and would run away often.

At first, she would run to family, but then she searched for comfort elsewhere.

"We felt so alone. We did not want to be out there with strangers. We didn't know those people," said Matney.

She dropped out of school after her sophomore year and did not return until years later.

An abusive relationship kept her from succeeding the first time. The birth of her son made it difficult the second time around, but the third time was a charm.

"I just stuck it through. I thought to myself, 'I am not going to be able to get a job without a high school diploma. I'm not going to be able to support my kids, to support myself, give them a good life,'" said Matney.

As she progressed, Matney's teachers saw a considerable change.

"It was a great pleasure to see her progress from not believing in herself to finally really feeling confident that she could do it," said her math teacher Huoy Trang.

Matney says she wants to pursue a career in the medical field. Her husband says it is a perfect fit.

"She is really sweet and kind, and she tries to help people a lot," said her husband, Jacob Garrison.
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