My Takoda Prep Story

Below is a piece written by a current Takoda Prep student:  

Ava Criollo

“Takoda Prep is somewhere that’s always made me feel very welcomed since the beginning and has been very convenient for me to get to. The location is great, it’s right next to Taco Bell and Holiday and also the train station. It feels good knowing how close it is and it should never change its location.  

The voice it gives me is that we’ll graduate no matter how long it takes. It gave me a lot of hope when I just wanted to stop with everything and bury myself in a deep hole of depression. Here however I never felt better about graduating than I did at Roosevelt. It actually feels more realistic here. I put my all into my assignments and no matter how many times I left here feeling like I’ll never be finished I always came back. Because every time I enter this class I feel like it’s a new opportunity to get further and closer to graduating. 

And now that the feeling of being done is very close, I am ready to prep for my fall semester at MCTC. I am ready to start prepping for the real world, real things, bills, car payment, anything. I have a lot of fear and a lot of doubt but it’ll never stop me from doing things that need to be done to ensure that I have a good life and that I give my mom a good life for the rest of her years.  

Every time I did not go to school like I should have. I felt the pause in my education, my time, and my future. It did not feel good, but it did show me that I should stop for nothing and nobody. I know how much dedication I have and it is up to me to show it. When I leave Takoda Prep, I’ll always remember the summer I started. We were doing my favorite thing, spray painting, but this time it was legal. It was an amazing experience especially working with real spray paint artists. The best part was that they let me pick some colors to keep out of their spray paints. They were new and one of the best spray paint brands I’ve been wanting since 9th grade. Those were the easiest credits to recover ever. And when I leave I’ll know there’s a piece of me still there that I can come back to remember.” 

Jennifer’s GED Goals Inspire Multiple Generations

Jennifer enrolled in Takoda GED to advance her career and inspire her children and grandchildren to do the same.

Ivy Estenson

Jennifer, an Ojibwe and Pueblo student from New Mexico enrolled in Takoda GED after her husband passed away. She decided that she no longer wanted to live in depression after mourning the loss of her husband, who was the leader and motivator of her family of six.

Jennifer was working part time as an Administrative Assistant and was working with an employment counselor who kept telling her, “have you gone to check out Takoda yet?”

“One day I just woke up after putting it off for three months and asked myself, ‘what am I going to do today?’ I must be a productive role model for my grandbabies and kids, so that they can see me doing something,” says Jennifer.

Here, we are family and we are connected because we all want the same thing – growth, knowledge and to be able to provide for our families.

That day, Jennifer enrolled in Takoda GED and attends at least 40 hours a week, when she’s not working or sick. What’s helped her stick with it, she says, is the support she receives from the staff and the Native elders who work at Takoda. “With the staff, it’s not just about school and the programs. They really care about you and do what they can to support you. The Native elders that I see around here make me feel like I am at home. All communities need our elders to guide us. To see them working here is something that you don’t see in a lot of places.” Jennifer said.

According to Jennifer, what makes Takoda special is how it ties Native cultural practices while simultaneously welcoming people from all backgrounds. “We don’t shy away from our cultural practices like smudging. Burning sage is spiritual and helps a lot of people get through tough days and times. Now I see all different kinds of people coming in here smudging. I love that we are really a community that welcomes everyone. I have been to other organizations where you know that you are only allowed in so far. Here, we are family and we are connected because we all want the same thing – growth, knowledge and to be able to provide for our families.”

Digital Office Professional Students Visit Amplifon HQ

Students in Takoda Institute’s Digital Office Professional training had a unique opportunity to visit Elite Hearing Network and its parent company, Amplifon and this week to tour its US headquarters, learn about its marketing department, and learn about a career in marketing.

Amplifon is the third largest global company in the hearing health industry, and Elite Hearing Network is the largest network of independent hearing care providers.

Digital Office Professional students boarded the Metro Blue Line traveled to Amplifon’s new downtown Minneapolis office. Students learned about the structure of the company, toured various departments, and learned from employees about their current job openings, fair hiring practices, and how to prepare and interview for a job.

The visit was a wonderful opportunity to connect students’ developing digital marketing skills to potential careers after graduation, and a great way to get a sense of what working in a corporate environment is like.

Miigwech to Amplifon for providing this experience to our students!