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WorkReadyU students celebrate graduation on June 30.
Contact: Ann Hatch
214-378-1819; ahatch@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — July 11, 2018

(DALLAS) — The tassels and gowns of spring high school and college graduations have faded. For 144 older students, however, graduation from the Dallas County Community College District’s WorkReadyU program in late June signaled they had met their goals as adult learners and now are ready for the next step in their lives. 

Those students have learned, through life’s challenges, that an education brings rewards.

Aaron Taylor is one of those graduates who knows that adult education gave him a second chance. He dropped out of school, fathered three children, went to work and couldn’t find the time to go back to school — until his mother prodded him to go. He then asked himself, “Why am I acting so aloof toward this glorious woman, who only ever wanted me to be the epitome of greatness, who loves me?” 

Taylor added that his most important reason for going back to school was for his children. “I want them to see, with all of my setbacks, that I still went back to school and made something out of my life. It is my job as a parent to mold them into productive members of society — and that starts with myself,” he said. “I want to use my mind before it deteriorates. I know I can be or do whatever I set my mind to.” 

Taylor served as a student ambassador during the June 30 graduation program.

DCCCD has 253 students throughout the Dallas Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) consortium who either have earned their high school equivalency or who have successfully completed an Integrated Educational Training (IET) program. Graduates earn a certification in programs such as patient care technician, certified nurse assistant, office assistant certificate, Microsoft certified application specialist, hospitality and tourism and others.

RonChelle Kelly, DCCCD’s continuing education and workforce coordinator for the district’s AEL program, said, “Our graduates expressed how very important and meaningful graduation was for them. One student — a mother of 10 children — earned her GED. Her brothers, her mother, her children, nieces and nephews all were there to celebrate her success.”

She added, “Many students also said they would have given up if there hadn’t been that one special person in their corner, encouraging them along the way. Sometimes we can’t truly understand what it means to the student we serve and the difference we make in their lives if we haven’t walked in their shoes.” 

DCCCD’s AEL program serves adults who are at least 16 years old and/or are beyond the compulsory school attendance age. The adult education and literacy program provides English language, mathematics, reading and writing instruction to help students acquire the skills needed to succeed in the workforce, earn a high school equivalency certificate or enter college or career training. 

Adults who need literacy instruction receive it in two main settings: (1) adult education programs, for which the largest source of federal funding is the Workforce Investment Act, Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA); and (2) developmental education courses in colleges for academically underprepared students.

For more information about DCCCD’s WorkReadyU program, visit dcccd.edu/WorkReadyU or contact Kelly by email at rkelly@dcccd.edu or by phone at 214-860-5707.

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