When 107 adults in blue caps and gowns received their GED certificates from AAMA earlier this year, no one was more thrilled than Maria. She came to Houston eight years ago with the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration that she earned in Monterrey, Mexico. But even with the degree, a good job was difficult to find.
“I had the will to do something more – to have a better life,” Maria said. “I wanted to be a good example for my child and move up at my job.”
Lacking confidence in her English skills, she looked for a GED Program in Spanish. After two years, she found AAMA’s Adelante program for adult students. Yet the pathway was not smooth. With a family and a job as a floating teacher’s aide at a Montessori school, it was difficult to make time for the GED classes and homework.
Four days a week Maria started work at 6:00 a.m., drove 30 miles to the North Main location for her GED classes from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., returned to work until 6:30 p.m., went home and prepared dinner for her family, performed her household and family chores, and then finally, studied.
"Some of my friends told me I was not going to pass Math because it is too hard," she said. "But I didn't care what they thought. I knew I could do it."
And she did – in just six months! As soon as Maria showed her GED certificate to her boss, she was promoted to lead teacher for the infant classroom. Now she plans to attend Lone Star College to become a Special Needs teacher.
"I can't describe with words how thankful I am to Adelante," Maria said. "Adelante is an army of dedicated angels!"
She credits her teacher, Jorge Herrera, with encouraging the entire class, especially when students felt they couldn't succeed.
"No matter what we felt, he would tell us we CAN do it!" she said.
"Don't be afraid – be determined," she said. "You have the will and the strength to achieve your certificate."