Felicity Reagan will graduate Thursday from JEVS Human Services’ E3 program, and her future looks bright.
Reagan, who lives in the Wissinoming/Frankford area, was a high school dropout who got pregnant going into her junior year.
In 2017, at age 17, she learned of E3, a free program that provides education, employment and empowerment services for Philadelphia dropouts ages 16-24.
Reagan started the program before taking a year off due to a lack of commitment. She returned in September 2019.
When COVID hit, E3 got her a computer and internet and she was able to take advantage of 1-on-1 virtual sessions with an instructor, leading to her completing her GED in January, soon after she had a second child.
Reagan is about to take testing at Community College of Philadelphia and her goal is to start in the fall and go into accounting/finance, with nursing as a backup plan.
“This experience was the first time I wasn’t looked at as a negative,” she said. “They pushed me even when I slacked with constant outreach. I found people that care about my future, too, and see my potential. They were working with me knowing I was pregnant and were really helpful. It wasn’t just about a GED, it was what do you want to do next. They helped with resources, too.”
Reagan has been working in retail to support her kids. She is very thankful to E3 for taking her back and believing in her, thinking she’d be different.
“It’s great to have someone in your corner,” she said. “My kids are the main reason I wanted to graduate. People say you can’t make it with kids, but you can do it. You have to find the time and the balance. Not going to school cheats yourself. I want to be well-established in life. I want people to relate. If I can do it, you can do it. You can learn.”
As Reagan looks forward to the Thursday morning graduation at the Philadelphia Ethical Society, she has some advice for others.
“Take the time to take advantage of the opportunities that are brought to you,” she said. “Keep pushing forward and never give up. You have a team that will support you no matter what. JEVS works around your schedule. What do we need to do to get you to graduate.”
For more information on the E3 program, call 267-238-3180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.