‘Luck favors the prepared:’ Nevada Union Adult Education graduation ceremony celebrates high school equivalency certificate, diploma recipients | TheUnion.com

‘Luck favors the prepared:’ Nevada Union Adult Education graduation ceremony celebrates high school equivalency certificate, diploma recipients

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Nine people stood on the Don Baggett Theatre stage in caps and gowns Tuesday afternoon.

The students received either a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate from Nevada Union Adult Education Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m significantly honored to stand here,” said Michael Hughes, principal of Nevada Union Adult Education.

Hughes had students stand to appreciate their family, friends and other supporters who helped them graduate.

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“Luck favors the prepared,” he said, adding that the students on stage now fall under the latter category.

A total of 38 students received a degree from the school, 17 of which previously had a ceremony held for them in the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility.

Nevada Union Adult Education became Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredited this year, said Hughes. The accreditation serves as a “foundation for quality education,” according to the institution’s website.

Leticia Garcia was the class student speaker Tuesday. She decided to go back to school when, after encouraging her son to read for an hour each day, she began to feel like a hypocrite.

“‘Why did you make me read when you didn’t graduate high school?’” her son had asked her.

Garcia said she persevered to graduation through a learning disability, and now plans to attend Sierra College to further her education, and her career as a nurse.

“Thanks to my son for calling me out and lighting my fire,” said Garcia to the audience.

Jesse Golden, an English as a second language teacher at Nevada Union Adult Education, was proud of recent graduates — and hopeful for their futures.

“Adult education is an important resource in helping fight poverty and ensuring better lives for marginalized adults, both in and out of jail,” she said.

Golden referenced a 2012 PBS story reporting that the average high school drop out is expected to earn $20,241 in annual income.

“Adult education allows people to complete high school diplomas or get GED degrees so they are not facing this barrier to a decent job,” she said.

Garcia feels that sentiment applies nicely to her, as she looks forward to have more autonomy in her next job.

“I honestly feel like this is a time where I get to choose something that I love doing,” said Garcia. “This is my opportunity to figure that out.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at scorey@theunion.com.

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