JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A Jacksonville woman earned her high school diploma Friday, thanks to some help from McDonald’s Archway to Opportunity program.
Jasmine Hernandez’s graduation ceremony was held at the same McDonalds she has worked at for the past two years.
“We both were crying,” said Karen Figueroa, Jasmine’s mother. “We were both so happy. I mean, I knew she was working hard at it and working hard at work.”
“It was amazing,” said Hernandez. “It has been a long time coming. I’ve had sleepless nights, everything, it was just amazing.”
Jasmine used the Archways to Opportunity program to take care of the cost of getting her diploma.
“We have found that everybody benefits from a great education,” said the restaurant’s owner Wade Dixon. “We all make decisions in life, and we may have to choose to drop out, but we can go back and finish that degree or that diploma.”
“They said every week it should be like eighteen hours; I did more than that,” said Hernandez. “I would put in like 24 hours a day, come to work, get off work, do some more work.”
She has a world of opportunity ahead of her.
“I want to help people,” said Hernandez. “And I want to learn the world, basically.”
Jasmine plans to go on to culinary school so she can continue on her path to success.