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72-Year Old Rodriguez Earns GED at Raymondville Satellite

Sunday, March 24, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

BeatrizRAYMONDVILLE — When 72-year old Beatriz Rodriguez met GED instructor Eve Reim at the Texas State Technical College Raymondville Satellite last summer, she made one simple comment.

“I told Ms. Eve when I met her, ‘I’m going to be one of your students,’” Rodriguez recalled.

In a matter of weeks Rodriguez was enrolled in the Adult Basic Education program at the TSTC Raymondville Satellite and ready to earn a high school diploma equivalency more than 50 years after she was supposed to initially graduate. Recently, Rodriguez earned her GED after several attempts.

Rodriguez took the math portion of the test twice before passing it on her third attempt. Her resiliency finally paid off and Rodriguez is now a high school graduate.

“I never finished high school and I always felt like something was missing,” Rodriguez said. “I left school and started working then started a family.”

Rodriguez has two sons, one daughter and two grandkids. Her three children graduated from high school and college. Her two grandkids are currently enrolled in college.

Rodriguez never gave up on her dream to complete her high school education and thanks to the availability of the the Adule Basic Education courses at the Raymondville Satellite, Rodriguez saw her dream come to fruition.

“I always had it in the back of my mind that I was going to go back to school someday,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez arrived from Tampico, Mexico to Lasara in 1949. She quickly learned that she wasn’t in Mexico anymore when she got called into the principal’s office for speaking Spanish to other girls. Rodriguez said she got paddled three times for speaking Spanish.

So at a young age, Rodriguez learned the value of an education.

“I learned English quickly after that,” Rodriguez said. “But the irony now is that I have a son who’s a bilingual education teacher in Austin.”

Rodriguez’s life has been a journey in education. Most of her adult life she spent near a classroom which pushed her to never give up on her dream.

Rodriguez worked for year with Experience Works, a temp agency that placed older workers in jobs. Rodriguez also spent several years working as a paraprofessional in the Lasara school district.

Most recently, Rodriguez worked for the Lasara school district in the administration office. That’s where she found out about the Adult Basic Education program at the Raymondville Satellite.

Rodriguez’s husband of 50 years, Manuel, would drive Beatriz to school and wait for her in the parking lot so she wouldn’t have to drive home alone.

Manuel said watching his wife embark and compete this journey made him proud.

“She’s always been a smart and responsible woman,” Manuel said. “I couldn’t be any more proud of her.”

Rodriguez is now considering continuing her education at TSTC Harlingen.

“The ones who suffer are my grandkids because when they complain about going to school everyone reminds them that their grandma just completed her GED,” she joked. “Everyone has been very supportive and they’re all very proud.”

As of this month, 12 students have received their GEDs at the TSTC Raymondville Satellite and nine more are waiting to retest. The courses last 12 weeks.

Aside from the Adult Basic Education courses the Raymondville Satellite offers Accuplacer Training, basic computer training and soon it will also offer dual enrollment classes.

For more information on services offered by the TSTC Raymondville Satellite, go online to www.tstc.edu/harlingencollegeready.











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