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OJC Press Release ID: 2529

Monday, June 6, 2016

BUENO HEP GED success story: Jyl Gutierrez

Jyl Gutierrez, Olney Springs, got her GED in 1988 in Texas; or so she thought. She had the certificate and was working at Crowley County Correctional Facility, but when the opportunity arose for a promotion, she needed a copy of the certificate. 

A bad end to a relationship resulted in many of her important papers being burned, the GED certificate had been among them.  Thinking it would be no problem to get a copy from the company through which she had earned it, Gutierrez searched for the contact information.  What she found was that the company did not exist any longer. 

“I had to have my certificate. I put in for the promotion and got it with the provision that I turn in my GED paperwork,” Gutierrez explained.

Gutierrez came to Bueno HEP in September of 2015. She took and passed her first three tests, English, social studies and science within a few weeks. The math portion of the test proved more of a challenge.

“Letters and numbers together?  Whose idea was this?” joked Gutierrez while telling her story.  “I would get so close, but never quite made the score I needed.”

Gutierrez fought through the stress of a divorce, getting her house shot at and her mother falling and breaking her hip to continue to attempt to pass the class.

“I was at war within myself.  I was cramming a year’s worth of work into just a few weeks,” Gutierrez said. 

Unfortunately, Gutierrez had lost the promotion.  The job could only be held for 120 days and her second failed attempt at the math portion had pushed her past the deadline.

In January, Gutierrez began to work an hour per day with Marian Morris, BUENO HEP GED coordinator.  She studied for the whole month and tested on the last Friday.

“Marian is amazing!  She went above and beyond, even came in on Saturdays to help me,” said Gutierrez.

“In the past I had ignored my problems and let other things influence my life.  This time I didn’t.  I wanted to validate my life and I did it! I have never been so thankful for anything in my life,” Gutierrez explained. “Quitting, you’re never going to achieve anything. I passed in the end and there is no better feeling than having worked so hard and given your all and you finally pass.”

Just after passing the test, Gutierrez found out that another Sergeant position had opened and she could put in for it again.  This time with her GED in hand.  “I am finally getting my life back,” said Gutierrez.

For more information about the BUENO HEP GED program, contact Marian Morris at 719.384.6877 or

Press Release Photo
Jyl Gutierrez