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Mother of Five Goes Back to School

Friday, August 1, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

RoxanneRoxanne De Leon's dreams aren't any different than most students at Texas State Technical College.

The 29-year old mother of five is currently enrolled in the Education and Training (ET) Program and hopes to become a kindergarten teacher in the near future.

She just started so it'll be another couple of years before De Leon will transfer to the University Center, where she'll complete her bachelor's degree through one of the six university partners. But she anticipates a smooth journey ahead.

Her road here has been anything but smooth.

"Everything I've been through and everything I'm going through, I do it for my kids," De Leon said. "I want them to have the opportunities I didn't have and that I didn't take advantage of growing up."

De Leon recently celebrated a huge accomplishment when she received her GED (General Education Diploma) along with 59 other graduates of the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) at TSTC.

"I wish I would have known back then what I know now," De Leon said. "I'm looking forward to graduating and going to school. It'll be a few years still before I can start teaching but I'm happy that I'm on my way."

At one point in her life, getting a post-secondary education didn't seem possible for De Leon.

She grew up in foster care and was eventually adopted by her grandparents, who were migrants. De Leon would travel up north with them on a yearly basis to work as migrants but stopped when she got pregnant at 15 years old.

She eventually dropped out and got married. At 23 years old, De Leon got divorced and was a single mother of three. She worked odd jobs to make ends meet but never held consistent employment.

Over the next few years she had two more children and got remarried. She worked as a migrant again but knew that in order to fulfill her dream of teaching one day, she had to take the first step and earn her GED.

That's when she looked into HEP at TSTC and at the end of 2012 started her new journey.

"HEP changed my life," De Leon said as she fought back tears. "They've made it possible for me to succeed."

De Leon also credits HEP with not only allowing her to pursue an education but for also creating a ripple effect at home with her children, who are 12, 11, 10, 5 and 4 years old.

"My youngest daughter tells me that I should be a nurse instead of a teacher," De Leon said. "She said she wants to be a doctor when she grows up and wants me to work in her offices."

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