Strife in Life: Adult Education Graduation Snapshot with Mathew Mbaeri

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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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At age 56, single father of five Mathew Mbaeri set out to find a new career path last year and enrolled in GED classes as part of his master plan.

Mbaeri moved to the United States in 2006 from Nigeria and has since worked hard to make a living for his children, ages 16-23.

The Alief resident decided that finally, it was time to make time for his own future.
“My kids said Dad, how can you go back to school?” he said, laughing at the memory of his new beginnings. Mbaeri answered pointedly: “So I can be like you guys.”

Through God’s grace and with lots of studying, Mbaeri said he passed all parts of his rigorous test after completing his GED class. Soon he will enroll in a workforce class at HCDE so that he may study to become certified in construction. After that, he wants to focus on becoming a civil engineer.

“The point is, education has no age limit,” he said. “Even if you are 70 or 80.”

Returning to school 20 years after dropping out is not easy, he said, but it’s definitely doable with help from good teachers.

This year his oldest graduates from college, and he is one proud papa. He admits to feeling a bit wiser himself.

“Go back to school and take care of yourself,” he said. “Education is power—and knowledge.”

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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