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Morales Goes Back to Classroom, Earns GED

Thursday, June 27, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

MoralesThe thought was always in the back of Miguel Morales’ mind.

Even when he dropped out of school in Rio Bravo, Mexico at the age of 12 and moved to the United States 12 years later at 24 years old, Morales never lost hope that he’d return to the classroom one day.

A short 52 years later, Morales made that dream a reality.

On Saturday at the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Commencement, Morales will be one of 98 students receiving their GED at the Cultural Arts Center at Texas State Technical College.

“It was always something that I thought of,” Morales said. “When I finished elementary school (in Mexico), I started working immediately with my brother and dad at a mechanic shop. When I moved to the United States, I got married and had a family and continued to work. I always thought about going back but I never had the time.”

Last year, Morales got hurt on the job and was deemed disabled. But the hardworking Morales wasn’t going to be idle. He finally had his chance to chase down one of his lifelong dreams.

In late 2012, Morales enrolled in the ABE Program at TSTC and embarked on a journey to take care of some unfinished business.

Morales, who speaks English but whose primary language remains Spanish, took a leap of faith. After years of working mostly with his hands, the rugged-looking blue-collar type was going to make a classroom his office for the next three months.

“I wouldn’t say I was intimidated or insecure about myself,” said Morales, a father of five. “But my English is limited so I was a little worried in that area. I just had to make sure to study and do all my homework.”

Today all of Morales children are over the age of 30 and with everyone grown up; he said he found it easier to concentrate on school.

“I really enjoyed studying and learning new things,” Morales said. “I was really behind since I didn’t go to high school here or in Mexico. So I learned a lot.”

Morales said walking across the stage to receive his GED would be a special moment for him and his family.

“I’m proud but a little nervous,” he said. “I’m not used to getting all this attention.”

Morales said the ABE Program produced more than just a GED. Used to being a laborer, Morales never had a need to be “sociable.”

“I worked in groups with my classmates and made some good friends,” Morales said. “I really gained a lot of confidence from completing this program.”

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