Strife in Life: Adult Education Graduation Snapshot with Estrella Torres

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May 19, 2017 by HCDE Communications

(Harris County Department of Education’s GED Graduation 2017 is scheduled for May 20 at 11 a.m. at 6300 Irvington, Houston, Texas, 77022 in our conference center. This story is part of a series of interviews with our adult students called “Strife in Life.” For class information, go to

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Before Estrella Torres found out about Harris County Department of Education’s Adult Education program, she was beginning to think she might never earn a high school diploma. Now, she’s receiving her GED after just one session – with nothing less than perfect attendance!

Torres, 19, the single mother of a 5 year old, faced a number of medical setbacks throughout high school that made finishing, less and less likely.

“I came back to get my GED because I had to drop out two years ago because I got really sick,” she said. “I spent most of my time in the hospital.”

Depression followed, and Torres, who has diabetes and a disability, learned that going back to her previous high school was not an option. HCDE’s Adult Education program was.

“I just had to overcome,” she said, adding that she is “proud” to be earning her GED the same year that she intended to graduate high school. “I was the only one in my class to get perfect attendance.”

With this big achievement behind her, Torres now has her sights on a post-secondary education and career.

“I want to go to a two-year college to study medical billing and coding,” she said.

She credited HCDE’s Adult Education teachers for helping her along, referring to them as “wonderful” and “very helpful.”

As for those who are in a similar situation, Estrella has some words of advice.

“It is a little bit hard, but you’ve just got to be really determined,” she said.

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE helps school districts in the state’s largest county meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners, directly serving students at their schools or one of four HCDE-operated campuses across the county. Learn about these services and more at

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