A teen from southwest Miami-Dade County just graduated from high school a few weeks ago, but she has discovered her diploma isn't valid.
"I'm embarrassed," said Valentina Lezcano.
The 18-year-old spent the past two years taking classes at Il Savior Academy. But when she applied to Miami-Dade College, she discovered her diploma wasn't valid.
"I put in a lot of hours, and I had to stay extra hours at school just to make up extra classes, and it was all for nothing," said Lezcano.
The college admissions worker told her the school was not accredited. NBC 6 checked with the three organizations that accredit private schools in Florida, and the school was not listed with any of the agencies.
Valentina's parents said they spent more than $20,000 on her education.
"There were times my parents couldn't even pay for it, and they had to take out any money that they found," she explained.
The school's director Jose Muse, who is also a real estate broker, told NBC 6's Dan Krauth over the phone that he's "working to take care of the situation," but when pressed with questions he hung up.
"There's no way around this. There's no way he can fix this. There's no way he can manage to do anything for us," said Lezcano.
Valentina now is left with two options: She must either get her GED or take home-school classes.
She said she graduated with seven other students and they are all pursuing GEDs.
To search a school's accreditation, click on any of the links below: