Taleah Mitchell is on a path to success

Taleah Mitchell had a challenging start to her academic journey. She was pulled out of school by her family in the fourth grade. As a young adult she worked several retail jobs. But when she lost her last position at a department store, she realized she didn’t want to be confined to low–wage work for the rest of her life.

After earning her GED®, she enrolled in Adult Basic Education and computer classes at Seattle Central, where she received crucial support from her instructors and staff that allowed her to navigate the college system and do well in her classes.

“Having support was most important,” she explains. “You had a whole team to support you for classes, transportation, and financial aid. I wouldn’t have been able to do it all, especially since I don’t come from a family who has college experience.”

Last fall, Taleah began regular college classes. After she finishes her associate degree, she plans to transfer to a university and eventually earn a Ph.D.

Taleah is very involved on campus and has served on several student government committees. She has also been a keynote speaker at events, and earlier this year spoke to the Washington State Legislature about the I–BEST (Integrated Basic Education & Skills Training) program, which helps students at the basic skills level enroll in college level programs and earn a certificate in a high demand industry.

“My teachers are my motivational life coaches,” she says. “You need someone to hold your hand while the foundation is being laid and then you can go off on your own and be successful.”