MIDDLEBURY — Jill Ryea, 19, can’t help but smile when she talks about receiving her high school diploma this week. That’s because life without a diploma hasn’t exactly been easy. Since she dropped out of Otter Valley Union High School a year and a half ago, she has applied for jobs at 15 businesses in Brandon, 20 in Rutland and 12 in Middlebury.
“I’ve had about five interviews and still no calls back,” said the Leicester resident. “The economy’s so bad and I’m looking really hard for a job.”