Older Learners Honored at HCDE Share Stories of Struggle, Success

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December 11, 2018 by HCDE Communications

Adult Education Honor SocietyOlder learners share stories about learning English, gaining new careers and balancing adult responsibility as they are honored on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington. The 32 adults are inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society as outstanding learners who go above-and-beyond to better themselves and help and inspire others.

  • Nanny from Mexico gets three medical certifications through free GED and workforce education programs at HCDE, allowing her to make up to $20 an hour once she earns her GED.
  • Former doctor and immigrant from Venezuela who is taking English as a second language (ESL) classes talks about moving from saving lives in the hospital emergency room in his homeland to earning minimum wage as a restaurant employee as he learns English.
  • Venezuela native progresses through English as a second language classes and works her way up from dishwasher to service manager to general manager of Chipotle Restaurant. Her employer sings her praises in a letter of commendation for the honor society award.
  • Mother who finishes raising her high-achieving children gets her turn to go back to school to prove to her children that she can get her GED.
  • City utility laborer working through the havoc of Harvey gets passed up for a promotion because of his lack of education–decides he can do better by getting his GED.

It’s not grades that distinguish the 32 adult learners. Life journeys, academic perseverance and acts of kindness helped the honorees make the short list for induction.

“Some of the biggest fans of our students who are being celebrated include their teachers, family and fellow students,” said Stephanie Ross, HCDE Adult Education director. “We are eager to share their stories and celebrate their successes.”

Students come from 35 Harris County Department of Education Adult Education learning sites throughout Harris and Liberty counties and are enrolled in GED, English as a second language and workforce classes that include construction and medical professions. Students are nominated by their teachers who recognize them as leaders who make an impact in their communities and by helping their classmates.

Induction into the National Adult Honor Society brings recognition and written recommendations for future employment and education advancement. Each student gains a pin and certificate.

HCDE provides free classes and other educational services to approximately 10,000 adult learners each year, ranging from teenagers to senior citizens. Classes are held in 35 community locations such as schools, churches or community centers. Communities include Alief, Baytown, Channelview, Cy-Fair, Deer Park, Galena Park, Goose Creek, Katy, Klein, Pasadena, Sheldon, Spring Branch and Liberty.

For more information about upcoming HCDE Adult Education classes which are offered in collaboration with the Texas Workforce Commission, go to http://www.hcde-texas.org/adult-education/ or call 713-692-6216.

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