Non-traditional students at HCDE Adult Education walk the stage to earn GEDs
Class of 2012 shares stories of hardships, joy
City of Houston Human Resources director Omar Cinque Reid joins 107 untraditional graduates across greater Harris County to celebrate GED student successes on Thursday, May 24 from 7-8:30 a.m. at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington.
“As manager of the city’s workforce of over 22,000 employees, Reid’s successes are highlighted by a people come first philosophy,” said HCDE Adult Education director Eduardo Honold. “We look forward to his positive messages as he inspires our graduates.”
Student success stories include that of Heights-area resident Marybeth Beydler, a home-school student who came to HCDE’s Irvington location to prepare for her GED. Beydler, 19, gained a scholarship to St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and will address her fellow classmates.
Salutatorian is Brandy Casillas who attended a HCDE class at Mayde Creek High school in Katy, Texas. The Katy high school is one of 65 HCDE Adult Education community sites within Harris County.
English-as-a-second-language student Blanca Navidad Perez is yet another success story. The 21-year-old from Guanajuato, Mexico enrolled in GED classes last fall. After obtaining her GED, she now attends Houston Community College and will continue to take English language civics classes at HCDE to gain her U.S. citizenship.
“I thank my teacher Denise Johnson for her support, love, patience and her example,” said Perez, who sees her teachers as family. “The most important thing Ms. Johnson could give me was her time.”
Valedictorian Beydler says she learned the value of teamwork from her GED teacher Winston Grant. He encouraged her leadership capabilities, and she began to tutor a fellow classmate struggling with math. As Beydler completed GED testing, counselor Susan Hoak assisted and encouraged her to apply for scholarships at both public and private colleges. After several offers, she chose St. John’s College, where she will pursue a liberal arts degree. Brother Robert Beydler, who also walks across stage for his GED, plans to attend Houston Community College.
The bright-eyed, petite young woman says she and her mother are using her positive experience at HCDE to encourage others to go back to school.
“We encourage people to go and see what happens,” she said. “The programs that HCDE offers are very good, and when you get your GED, it will be a self-esteem booster."
Adult Education programs at HCDE are free and include classes in GED, multiple levels of English as a second language and adult basic literacy and math skills.
Classes are taught by highly qualified, trained teachers and curriculum is based on Texas Adult Education Content Standards. Career counseling sessions help students with decisions about college and workforce training.
Classes are available at 65 locations throughout Harris County. Locations Alief, Channelview, Crosby, Cy-Fair, Deer Park, Galena Park, Goose Creek, Huffman, Katy, Klein, LaPorte, North Forest, Pasadena, Sheldon and Spring Branch independent school districts.
About GED commencement speaker Omar Cinque Reid: As the human resources director, Reid is responsible for all the financial and administrative activities for the department. He provides guidance and initiates policies for all city departments. Reid’s focus and objectives in human resources is to continue as strategic partner with other city departments in managing the city’s workforce of over 22,000 employees. He has over 20 years of human resources and specialized management experience with a Fortune 200 U.S. corporation. Reid earned his bachelor degree in business administration from the University of Houston Downtown and a MBA from Texas Southern University. He is the published author of The Traffic of Life: Characteristics of Effective Leadership.
About Adult Education: HCDE Adult Education provides classes in GED, adult basic literacy and math skills and English as a second language. Students are served at more than 65 Harris County Department of Education locations. Classes are provided free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Communities served include areas of Houston and North Forest, Cypress-Fairbanks, Katy, Alief, Spring Branch, Klein, Sheldon, Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte, Goose Creek (Baytown), Crosby, Huffman, Galena Park and Channelview. HCDE Adult Education provides curriculum based on state standards with a 20-year track record. Trained teachers and career counseling services provide for about 10,000 students yearly. Materials include textbooks, computer-aided instruction and distance education.
About HCDE: Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 26 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, and Head Start programs. We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support. Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at www.hcde-texas.org.