Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meet Tonight's HSE Grad Speaker Maida Dugalic

Photo of Maida Dugalic in graduation regalia.  HSE Graduation Banner.

Tonight is our annual High School Equivalency (HSE) Graduation ceremony. This is the night we celebrate the accomplishments of Rio Salado students who have successfully completed our GED® test prep classes and passed the GED® test. Among the honorees is HSE student speaker Maida Dugalic.

Dugalic left her home country of Bosnia, and everything she knew behind, in order to give her family a better life. She earned a high school equivalency diploma to give herself a better life.

“After the war, the situation in Bosnia wasn’t very promising,” Dugalic said. “I was concerned about my children’s future and education, and knew that if we stayed there, I wouldn't be able to provide for them.”

Dugalic and her family came to Arizona to be near her husband’s family. She began looking for jobs, and realized she was missing out on many opportunities because she did not have a high school diploma. She decided to pursue Rio Salado College’s in-person GED® test prep classes.
Photo of Dugalic  in front of Rio Salado headquarters.
“I did some research and decided that Rio Salado was the place I wanted to go,” Dugalic said. “It didn't feel like I was going to school, or that I was out of place. The teachers were always friendly and easy going and I felt welcome.”

Dugalic also wanted to earn her diploma to set an example for her kids.

“I wanted to be an example to my children, to walk the walk not just talk the talk,” Dugalic said. “I expect from them hard work and high goals, so I had to show them by example.”

With her diploma in hand, Dugalic knows her future is bright.

“I know I want to go to college and continue studying, maybe nutrition or social work,” Dugalic said. “I don't know what specifically, but I do know that with a GED - I have many more options.”

Contributed by Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator.

Click here for more details about tonight's ceremony. We encourage Rio HSE grads to share their stories using #RioGrad and #GEDGradDay.  

Learn more about Rio Salado’s GED® test prep program by calling 480-517-8110 or visiting

Learn more about #GEDGradDay at