Rio Salado College celebrated the accomplishments of these go-getters at its annual High School Equivalency (HSE) graduation ceremony on Thursday evening, May 21 at Orangewood Nazarene Church, in Phoenix.
In her 30 years, Gomez has already dealt with a lifetime of adversity. She has faced a childhood spent in hospitals, the death of her mother from a brain tumor, a marriage and divorce, the births of her three children, the loss of a home, and the deaths of her beloved grandparents on the same day.
“I decided to go back to school when my family hit financial hardships,” Gomez said.
Working retail and temporary positions since she was 19, Gomez was passed over for promotions at work because she did not have a high school diploma. She reached out to Rio Salado to take high school equivalency prep classes.
“I was terrified to return to school after being out of the classroom for almost 15 years,” Gomez said. “But the program at Rio Salado took away all of the scary parts and made it a very comfortable experience.”
She specifically cites the personal attention and dedication of Rio Salado College staff.
Gomez plans to pursue college in the near future, after her family is more stable financially.
“Once you put your mind to a goal, do whatever you have to do to get there,” she said. “Put your nose to the books and put in the hours necessary to learn, and you'll get there.”
Visit this web page for details about Rio Salado's HSE Prep program.
Photo 1: HSE Grads lineup for processional
Photo 2: HSE Graduation ceremony begins
Photo 3: Gomez with Rio Salado Director of Community Partnerships College Bridge Pathways Lily Beth Brazones
Photo 4: Gomez with Rio Salado Counselor Amberly Lebeck-Brown
By Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator at Rio Salado College.