Local single mom pursuing dreams to earn high school diploma through Walmart
SAYRE, PA (WENY) -- One woman from Sayre is pursuing her dreams to earn a high school diploma through a new program for store associates through Walmart.
26-year-old Melanie Knecht works as an Entertainment Associate at the Walmart Supercenter in Sayre. She's one of the first in the country to go back to school to earn her high school diploma for free through Walmart's Live Better U' program, and all for a very special person.
"My son. He's 4. His name is Riley, and my mom had actually gone back to school in 2011. Seeing that, it made me realize what I could do for Riley and I wanted to do it," she says.
Riley was born prematurely at 32 weeks, creating what Melanie calls a deep and instant bond. After hearing about Walmart's free high school diploma program from a friend last winter, Melanie signed up immediately. She's now using the opportunity to set an example for her son.
"Every night when I'm doing it, he sits next to me with his own little paper and pencil and he does homework with me. So Easter break...I got him some workbooks, like preschool workbooks, and so he sits right next to me, does homework with me and he's very proud. He's so excited to go to school, just like Mommy!" Melanie excitedly explains.
'Live Better U' first launched in 2018. It allows any Walmart associate gain their high school diploma for free, or even go back to college for $1-a-day.
"To be able to take on some of those new jobs you need that education. Everything's digital now and it's changing how we do things so to be able to get that education and be able to do more is just a great thing for our associates," adds Walmart Store Manager Shawn Earley.
While it's a challenge to be a working parent, Melanie's doing it all on her own, while attending classes.
"Oh yeah, being a single mom to a 4 year old is a lot tougher than I thought and then adding school and work, it's been a ride, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I really wouldn't," she says.
Information about all of the educational programs through Walmart can be found here: https://one.walmart.com/content/uswire/en_us/company/news/top-stories/unlock-the-future--introducing-live-better-u.html