September 17, 2019 by HCDE-Texas
Forty-eight-year-old Jaime Chavez came to Harris County Department of Education over a year ago to work on his General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and connected with a few staff members who helped him achieve his goal.
Chavez dropped out of school in the ninth grade in the late 1980s. In order to stay at his full-time job with Metro he needed to obtain his GED.
He started the GED process in Spring Branch, but with his work schedule always changing his teacher told him about HCDE. Chavez joined an online learning program at HCDE’s Adult Education Irvington Center. When he needed more help, he was introduced to HCDE tutoring volunteers Robert Bell and John Kracht from the Technology Division and Special Schools Assistant Superintendent Jonathan Parker.
Chavez was able to pass all portions of the test except for math, and that’s where his tutors helped.
“Mr. Bell was my main tutor, but the other two helped me out with their knowledge of the subject,” he said.
Bell would spend about eight hours a week of his own time for a year helping Chavez with math problems that would be on the test.
“I appreciate all three of them for being patient with me during this process and not giving up on me,” Chavez said. “It was not an easy road for me, but I started opening my eyes.”
Last month, Chavez received his score back on the math portion, and he passed.
“I’m so grateful for Mr. Bell for the help he gave me by showing the process and breaking it down,” he said.
Bell is happy to know he was able to help change someone’s life by tutoring eight hours a week.
“I am proud of him, and it makes me realize the work we do and how it impacts individual lives,” he said. “This shows how important our organization is in people’s lives.”
Bell said he will continue to volunteer by tutoring adult education students in the content area they need to pass the test.
Chavez is set to graduate in May 2020.
For more information about HCDE Adult Education classes, contact the office at 713-692-6216 or visit https://hcde-texas.org/adult-education/.