Showing posts with label College Bridge Pathways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label College Bridge Pathways. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy Graduation Day HSE #RioGrad!

Image for 2015 HSE graduation ceremony

Tonight we celebrate the accomplishments of students who have completed Rio Salado’s High School Equivalency (HSE) program and successfully passed the GED® test.

Among the HSE graduates taking part in tonight’s ceremony is student speaker Angelica Marie Solaro, who will be sharing her story.

Photo of Angelia Marie Solaro

After leaving high school before graduation, Solaro never thought she would earn her diploma. When she decided to accept the challenge of completing her education, she discovered a new direction in her life.

Solaro enrolled in Rio Salado College’s High School Equivalency (HSE) program. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and experienced every emotion possible. However, Solaro’s can-do attitude allowed her self-esteem to grow. Not only has she completed her HSE, but Angelica’s new-found confidence has landed her a promising employment opportunity.

In addition to being a great daughter, sister, and friend to others, Solaro is also continuing her education through Rio Salado’s Adults Achieving a College Education program. She is working toward the goal of earning a college degree, and hopes to one day work in the project management field.

“If I had not faced some of the challenges that I had, I would not be the person I am today,” said Solaro. “All of my experiences have allowed me to appreciate the little things in life and everyone who is involved.”
Tune in to watch tonight's ceremony to learn more about Solaro's story beginning at 7 p.m.

Ready to get started on your educational journey? Visit this web page for details about Rio Salado's HSE Prep program.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Celebrate Graduation Rio Waves Class of 2016

Image of a student in cap and gown.  Text: Celebrate your accomplishment! Rio Waves Class of 2016.

We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of Rio Waves at the 2016 commencement and High School Equivalency (HSE) graduation ceremonies this May!   

Visit our commencement and HSE graduation web pages for details about preparing for these special events.

image of 2015 commencement ceremony
Rio Commencement
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Orpheum Theater
203 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Rio HSE Graduation
Thursday, May 26, 2016 
Orangewood Nazarene Church
7510 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051

Caps, Gowns & Tassels
Graduates participating in the ceremonies must wear the official Rio Salado blue gown, cap and 2016 tassel. The graduation fee includes the cost of these items, as well as a diploma cover.

Photos, DVDs, Broadcasts & Live Stream
Grad Images will be taking photos during the ceremonies, which you can purchase a few weeks after each ceremony. We will provide updates when photos are available. Rio Salado staff photographers will also be taking photos, which we will post to our Facebook page for you to upload and tag.

image of a 2015 grad walking across the stage

DVD copies of the ceremonies will be available for sale at each of the events. The cost is $20 and must be paid at the time the order is placed. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

MCTV Cox Channel 115 will videotape the graduation and commencement ceremonies for broadcast at a later time. The May 11 commencement ceremony will also be available as a live stream. Visit this page to tune in.

image of Rio mascot Splash in cap and gown
Get Your Rio Waves Keepsakes
The Rio Salado Bookstore will have Rio Waves merchandise like tee-shirts, hats and other mementos you can purchase at each of the events-- to help you remember your special day.

Choose Your Favorite Grad Badge
Visit this web page to vote for, download and share your favorite grad badge.  
images of 2016 grad badges

Share Your Selfies and Stories

Friday, April 29, 2016

Positive Paths Scholarship for Women!

Logo for Positive Paths.  Video clip of a woman holding a sign that reads: Wife, Mother, Volunteeer, Grandmother, Student, Friend, Employee, Woman

The Positive Paths Scholarship Program assists women who are returning to school to improve their lives and enhance their career opportunities.

The scholarship program was established to help women who have overcome major obstacles including poverty, domestic violence, death of a spouse, loss of a job,illness of family members, issues with children or other challenges. Recipients can use the award to pay for tuition, fees and books.

Scholarship amounts vary based on individual needs, up to a maximum of $2,000 per academic year and are available to students who are enrolled in or accepted to an East Valley vocational/skills training program, a community college or Arizona public university.

Deadline is May 19, 2016.

Get started on the application now!

Check out this inspiring video to see see how Positive Paths is building life bridges for women:

Rio Salado is a proud supporter of the Positive Paths scholarship program.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Student Spotlight: Meet ELAA Student Hiam Muhyar

photo of Hiam Muhyar

Meet Hiam Muhyar, an English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) student attending classes at the Rio Salado Southern location in Tempe who is taking her educational journey to a new level—inside and outside of the classroom.

“I love going to Rio Salado College,” said Muhyar. “I learned from great teachers and made many friends.”

Her enthusiasm is contagious—as is her dedication for being involved in the community.

Among her most recent accomplishments was winning the 2016 Adult Literacy Week Contest hosted by the Arizona Department of Education in February for producing a video with her classmates called, The Best Class, which features Muhyar and her ELAA classmates talking about their experiences in the program and learning English. The video won top honors in the Digital Storytelling category. Watch the video now.

Muhyar is also the recipient of a Presidential Award pin from the City of Tempe for her volunteer service—dedicating more than 500 hours knitting items for others in need. Muhyar, who is from Jordan and moved to the U.S. in 2008 is now a U.S. citizen—and wears her Presidential Award pin with pride.

Muhyar has exemplified outstanding student leadership and is a great source of pride and inspiration for staff and students at Rio Salado Southern.

No matter what your current English skill level is, Rio Salado College has a class to help you learn English at your own pace. Visit this web page to learn more about Rio Salado's ELAA and other College Bridge Pathways programs. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rio AACE Spotlight: Kathleen Hall

This inspiring video will provide a glimpse into the life of Kathleen Hall, one of many adult students who has overcome obstacles to pursue a college education-- and found help and guidance through Rio Salado's Adults Achieving a College Education (AACE) program.

Rio Salado staff are committed to help you succeed! Whether you need assistance preparing for the GED® test, learning English as a second language, finding financial aid or meeting any of the other challenges of returning to school-- we're ready to help. 

Visit: to learn how we can help you!

#‎GED‬ ‪#‎ESL‬ ‪#‎ABE‬

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Congratulations to Rio 2016 NAEHS Inductees!

group shot of NAEHS honorees

Rio Salado's College Bridge Pathways (CBP) team held its 22nd National Adult Education Honor Society (NAEHS) induction ceremony on February 23, 2016.

photo of student addressing attendees at lectern
The NAEHS ceremony held at the Rio Salado Conference center, recognized CBP students who have shown exceptional commitment to their educational goals, persistence in class, a strong work ethic and willingness to help fellow students.

The students recognized for this honor are enrolled in Rio Salado’s English Language Acquisition for Adults program, which provides instruction for those learning English as a second language-- and Rio Salado's High School Equivalency prep program, which helps students prepare for the GED® test.

two honorees holding up their certificate
Each year the NAEHS induction ceremony recognizes outstanding students who often come from diverse backgrounds but all share one thing in common--  a desire to continue their education and reach for their dream!

See additional event photos on our Facebook page.

image of a framed list of NAEHS Rio Salado inductees.
About NAEHS: The mission of the National Adult Education Honor Society is to provide meaningful recognition to deserving adult education students, to improve student employment opportunities, to develop student ambassadors for local adult education programs and to create adult education awareness with school administrators and state legislators.

Learn more about Rio Salado's CBP programs by visiting

News and photos courtesy of Rio Salado Instructional Specialist Philip Suriano. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

College Info Night for New Student Success!

Image of young people gathered around a table.  Text: Free College Info Night.  Learn what the Maricopa Community Colleges can do for you.  Date: Feb. 23, 2016.  Time: Info sessions at 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m.  Where: Communiversity at Surprise: 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza Surprise, AZ, 85374

Rio Salado's College Information Night at the Communiversity at Surprise is Tuesday, February 23, 2016! 

It's the perfect opportunity for teens and working adults to get the information and resources they need to succeed in college! 

Register now to let us know you're coming-- so we can arrange for your information kits, gift bags and refreshments.

event flier.  text in blog
Rio Salado's academic advisement, admissions and records, financial aid staff and other student services teams will be present to provide information about getting started, how to choose a major, how to secure financial aid and scholarships, how to succeed in college and more!

Staff from Glendale and Estrella Mountain community colleges will also be present to talk about the in-person options and services available to you on their campuses! It's a great way to learn what the Maricopa Community Colleges can do for you-- at one convenient location!

There will also be staff available to talk to attendees about Rio Salado's College Bridge Pathways programs, including High School Equivalency classes for students preparing for the GED® test and English Language Acquisition for Adults classes.

image of a Fry's employee at one of the stores, smiling at camera
We will also have representatives from Fry's Food Stores available to talk to students about employment opportunities with the company and the benefits of Rio Salado’s online Retail Management Certificate program. Fry’s is hiring and will pay for students to earn their certificate through Rio!

Tuesday, Feb.23, 2016
Information Sessions: 6:30, 7, and 7:30 p.m.

Communiversity at Surprise
15950 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ, 85374

Call 480-517-8231 if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you this Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

RSC Lifelong Learning Center Closed

Attention, the RSC Lifelong Learning Center in Surprise is closed for the rest of the day, Tuesday, Feb. 9 due to a city water main break. 
The facility will remain closed until the City of Surprise completes repairs. 

We will keep you posted with details as soon as they become available.

Thank you for your patience.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Help Foster Youth Transition to Adult Life

snapshot of azcentral web page featuring story in question.

Teens in foster care are more likely to face homelessness, incarceration, teen pregnancy and substance abuse than their peers.  Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges are working with Arizona State University to change that with Bridging Success, a program to help foster youth transition to higher learning and life as an adult.

Learn more about this effort and ways you can make a difference in this azcentral story by reporter Kaila White.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Preparing for Opportunity Fair & Forum, Oct. 30

Tomorrow's 100,000 Opportunities Initiative Fair & Forum at the Phoenix Convention Center will provide attendees with an opportunity to meet with more than 20 employers who are eager to recruit, hire and provide support services to young people between the ages of 16 and 24 and Maricopa Community Colleges students. Are you ready?

Here are 5 career tips from the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative team and Fusion Lightworks to consider.

The job fair will provide participants with information about what to expect in an interview, said Rio Salado Counselor Amberly Lebeck Brown, who will help staff Rio Salado’s information booth at the event.

“I suggest attendees wear a plain, button-up, collared shirt if they don’t have a suit, which are relatively easy to get from Goodwill, Savers or Last Chance,” said Brown.

Qualified participants are encouraged to attend regardless of whether they can secure business attire.

Contact Rio Salado’s Counseling & Career Services for additional tips on how to prepare and other support services.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative Fair & Forum
Friday, October 30
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center
100 N. Third St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative:
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is a coalition of leading U.S.-based companies committed to training and hiring 100,000 Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school and not working by 2018. Launched in August of 2015 to create more pathways to economic opportunity for young Americans, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative aims to be the largest employer-led coalition in the country. The Initiative creates pathways for youth with untapped talent and potential to build skills, gain credentials and employment, and reclaim the American Dream. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is an employer-led coalition that will leverage the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions. It is supported by many of the country’s youth and opportunity-focused nonprofit organizations, local governments, and participating funders.

#StartSomewhere #100kOpportunities

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Job Fair for Youth & Maricopa Students!

logo for 100,000 Opportunities Initiative Project Fair & Forum Phoenix

Rio Salado is proud to join the Maricopa Community Colleges and Starbucks in the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative Fair & Forum at the Phoenix Convention Center this Friday, October 30 to help young people between the ages of 16 and 24 find employment and educational opportunities.

Starbucks will be joined by 20 other companies to recruit, hire and provide support services at the event.

While the event is designed specifically to help young people who are not currently employed or in school and who have had difficulty finding jobs and educational opportunities, Starbucks is inviting all Maricopa Community Colleges students to take advantage of the workshops, services and interviewing opportunities available during the free community event.
  • Meet and interview with more than 20 companies 
  • Practice interview skills with one-on-one coaching 
  • Create or improve resume with personalized support 
  • Get resources to complete high school degree and explore college 
  • Get help with job applications 
  • Attend workshops on how to set career goals 
  • Tap into legal resources and immigration services 
  • Find a mentor and job training programs, open a bank account and more!
Participants will also have access to bus passes, food, haircuts and other services to help them prepare for on-site interviews.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative Fair & Forum 
Friday, October 30 
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Phoenix Convention Center
100 N. Third St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

To register, visit

Register and Schedule Your Interviews Now!
Participants can pre-schedule up to two interviews online and should plan to dress for success to meet with various employers during the event.

logo for 10K opporunities initiative

About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative:
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is a coalition of leading U.S.-based companies committed to training and hiring 100,000 Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school and not working by 2018. Launched in August of 2015 to create more pathways to economic opportunity for young Americans, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative aims to be the largest employer-led coalition in the country. The Initiative creates pathways for youth with untapped talent and potential to build skills, gain credentials and employment, and reclaim the American Dream. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is an employer-led coalition that will leverage the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions. It is supported by many of the country’s youth and opportunity-focused nonprofit organizations, local governments, and participating funders.

#StartSomewhere #100kOpportunities

Friday, October 16, 2015

White House Names Rio a “Bright Spot”

web header for White House initiative

Rio Salado College has received two recognitions from the White House for its dedication to serving Hispanic students.

The college is one of more than 100 Commitments to Action named yesterday by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Organizations that participate in the commitment pledge to increase educational opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and deliver a complete and competitive education for all students, including Hispanics.

“We are honored to be recognized by the White House for our efforts to reach out to underserved populations,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “Educational opportunity has never mattered more than it does today. Regardless of where a student is on their educational journey, Rio Salado College is here to help prepare them for the jobs of the future.”

students studying at a Rio Salado location

As part of its action plan, Rio Salado is increasing efforts to reach local schools with large Hispanic student populations, assess their education needs and increase awareness of college programs.

“Rio Salado College already has many offerings from GED® test preparation to post-baccalaureate master’s degree partnerships,” said Dr. Jennifer Gresko, faculty chair for teacher education. “By identifying the school’s needs, our staff members can start conversations about enrolling in the many different programs, whether within educator preparation or in other fields.”

AACE graduate holding up her certificate of completion

Last month, the Initiative named Rio Salado College’s Adults Achieving a College Education (Adult ACE) program as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education as part of its 25th Anniversary of Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Bright Spot organizations are recognized for using data-driven approaches, promising practices, and effective partnerships resulting in increased educational completion opportunities for the Hispanic community.

“This nation has set a goal for citizens to achieve at least some post-secondary education to be competitive in the job market,” said Dr. Jo Jorgenson, dean of instruction and community development at Rio Salado. “Yet, more than 40 million Americans lack either a high school or equivalency diploma.”

Rio Salado’s Adult ACE program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, helps bridge that gap by providing an educational pathway for minority, first-generation college students.

Adult ACE students are simultaneously enrolled in Rio Salado’s college classes and in classes to help them prepare for the GED® test. Students are also provided with personalized academic advising and support services to ease the transition.

“The primary objective of Adult ACE is to help students become more confident, improve their college and workplace skills, and lay the foundation for a better future,” Jorgenson said.

About the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
The Initiative was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. To learn more visit

By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich.

Monday, October 5, 2015

4th Annual Camino al Éxito Education Fair

Image from event video: Feria de Educacion Camino al Exito 2015

On October 10, 2015, Expect More Arizona, Univision Arizona and the Helios Education Foundation will host the Camino al Éxito Education Fair. This fourth annual event will take place at South Mountain Community College, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The event will serve approximately 3,500 Latino parents and students of all ages, who will have a chance to experience a robust resource fair with exhibits, including a special reading garden where kids under five will receive a free book.

Parents and family members will also have an opportunity to attend workshops on a variety of topics, such as college readiness, financial aid and early learning.

Local and national talent from Univision will take part to meet and greet event attendees.

We hope you'll do your part to help Rio Salado College increase awareness about this community event.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Constitution Week Reflections

AACE students and staff standing in front of AZ Capitol

Rio Salado is proud to take part in Constitution Week and to encourage civic engagement among students. We end Constitution Week with a look back at a special moment for a group of Rio Salado students and staff who took part in a guided tour of the Arizona Capitol last spring.

The students were part of Rio Salado’s Adults Achieving a College Education (AACE) program, which is designed to help students prepare for the GED® test while transitioning into college life, by taking college-level coursework and preparatory classes that help them acquire valuable skills they can use in the workplace and in school.

The group of 24 AACE students and Rio Salado employees scheduled the tour to get a first-hand view of government in action. What they didn’t expect was a standing ovation from the House of Representatives!

“This was a very informative and an empowering experience,” said Director of Rio Salado's AACE and College Bridge Pathways Workplace Education program Kate Packer, who arranged for the tour of the Arizona Capitol museum and Legislature.

 “The tour was intended to give students a glimpse into our state’s rich history and how government works at the local level,” said Packer. “It truly became so much more for us, when we became a topic of discussion for the House of Representatives.”

image of students touring the museum

Arizona State Representative Mark Cardenas led the discussion, acknowledging the group and providing a brief about Rio Salado’s AACE program, which prompted other members of the house to greet the group with applause and a standing ovation.
“I can’t begin to tell you what this meant for the students, and for me,” said Packer. “Many of the students are the first generation in their families to attend college and had to go through a lot of effort to get to this point, so to have that acknowledged by the Legislature gave all of us a deep sense of accomplishment and a renewed sense of purpose.”
Representative Cardenas also took the time to meet with students and take part in group photos.

“We make it a point to encourage civic participation among AACE students and this is just one way to help students become inspired,” said Packer.

Rio Salado AACE is a scholarship-based college and career preparation program for adults 16-years-of-age or older, who are ready to commit to completing a degree, certificate or workforce training program. To learn more visit this web page.

Friday, August 7, 2015

New Foster Care Education Program

Rio Salado College is proud to take part in a new Maricopa Community Colleges program that will help children aging out of the foster care system transition into and succeed in college. The Bridging Success Initiative, which is funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, was introduced at an event on July 23 with partners from across the Valley.

The program focuses on three key areas: retention, degree completion, and transfer.

The initiative advisory board has representatives from Arizona State University (ASU), Children's Action Alliance, Arizona's Children Association, Arizona Friends of Foster Care, College Success Arizona, College Depot, Florence Crittendon, and the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

The Maricopa Community Colleges are creating supportive environments at all of their main campuses where students can get tutoring, academic counseling, career planning, skill development, and other support services. Bridging Success Program counselors at ASU will also work with students to help make the transfer to ASU seemless.

Finishing a program usually leads to greater earning potential for youth in foster care.

“Supporting youth who are aging out of foster care is core to our mission of access and student success,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Felicia L. Ganther.
Dr. Felicia L. Ganther

“We are extremely committed to this work and are thankful to our community partners for helping us to create a web of support for these students. Like other young people, youth in foster care have dreams. Yet we know that there are big challenges and obstacles in the way of these dreams. Our goal is to turn these dreams deferred, into dreams realized.”

Facts about Youth in Foster Care
  • Every year, more than 700 Arizona children age out of foster care when they turn 18.
  • One in four youth in foster care in the U.S. will finish a certificate or two-year degree.
  • Nationally, only 3% of youth in foster care finish a four-year degree. 
  • More than 25% experience homelessness and/or prison. 
  • One in three receives public assistance, and their unemployment rate is more than 50%.

Maddy Day is Director of Outreach and Training at Western Michigan University’s Center for Fostering Success and was the event’s keynote speaker.

“With well staffed, campus-based support programs and supportive collaborations between the education and child welfare sectors, our students will not just survive their journey through the education to career pipeline. They will thrive,” said Day. 

For more information about Maricopa’s Bridging Success Initiative and ways you can help a young person aging out of foster care with college completion, visit this web page and contact Stephanie Garman at 480-731-8093 or

Rio Salado College is one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Commencement & HSE Graduation on MCTV

photo of Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante and HSE Graduate and Student Speker Tera Gomez
Tune into MCTV to watch Rio Salado's Commencement and HSE Graduation ceremonies on COX Channel 115.

Wednesday, June 24 - 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 25 - 1:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Thursday, July 9 - 8:30 p.m.
Friday, July 10 - 1:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

HSE Graduation
Friday, June 19 - 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 25 - 8:30 p.m.
Friday, June 26 - 1:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Wednesday, July 8 - 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 9 - 1:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

A special thank you to our good friends at MCTV for covering these events and for making these broadcasts possible! We appreciate your support.

Congratulations and thanks once again to Commencement student speaker John Field and HSE Graduation speaker Tera Gomez for their outstanding presentations.

You can still purchase individual photos from GradImages at

Photo 1: Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante and Tera Gomez.
Photo 2: John Field.

#RioGrad #MCTV

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 HSE Graduation on MCTV

Get inspired!  Tune into MCTV to watch the Rio Salado 2015 HSE Graduation Ceremony-- Friday, June 19 at 8:30 p.m. on COX Channel 115.

#RioGrad #GED

Friday, May 29, 2015

2015 HSE Graduation Photo Album

image of a graduate with his family

You can find photos from last week's HSE Graduation on Facebook! Please feel free to upload, share and tag. 

Approximately 300 people gathered for the event on Thursday, May 21 at the Orangewood Nazarene Church in Phoenix to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 50 graduates—students who have successfully completed Rio Salado’s High School Equivalency prep program and among the first Arizonans to pass the newly revised GED® test.

You will also have an opportunity to purchase individual photos from GradImages at in the next few weeks and a chance to view the ceremony in its entirety on MCTV. Stay tuned for air dates. It will be well worth your time!

For more details about Rio Salado’s HSE prep program, GED ® testing services and other college bridge pathway programs and services, visit or call 480-517-8110

#RioGrad #GED

Friday, May 22, 2015

Graduates Take First Step toward College

For some people, making the transition from high school to college student is just one seamless step in a prescribed path to adulthood. Many others, however, encounter hardship and obstacles along that same path. For those who persevere, the reward is even more meaningful.

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.

There where approximately 50 graduates in attendance, representing more than 100 students who successfully completed the college’s HSE prep classes and passed the state’s HSE exam (also referred to as the GED® test).

Tera Gomez, the HSE graduation student speaker, is a perfect example of how each person takes a different road to reach their destination.

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.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today without the tutelage of my fantastic math teacher, who is one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met, and the guidance of my college counselor, who was always there to hold me up when I felt weak,” said Gomez.

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.

2015 HSE Graduation a Memorable Evening

Last night's 2015 HSE Graduation was without question, a memorable evening! Inspirational, emotional and moving in so many ways. You’ll be hearing more about it in the coming days. 

A special thank you to our guest speakers who helped make last night extraordinary, especially student speaker Tera Gomez for sharing her inspirational story.

Many thanks to all of the volunteers, faculty, staff and guests for your attendance and support. And caps off to the 2015 HSE graduates who took part in the ceremony. Congratulations. You should be very proud of your achievements!

image of graduation ceremony in progress

We will post high resolution photos you can upload and share in the next few days. You will also have an opportunity to purchase individual photos from GradImages at in the next few weeks. You will also have a chance to view the ceremony in its entirety on MCTV. Stay tuned for air dates. It will be well worth your time!

Pictured above: MCCCD Governing Board Member Doyle Burke, Deputy Associate Superintendent of Adult Education Services Sheryl Hart, Tera Gomez, Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante, MCCCD Governing Board President Tracy Livingston and MCCCD Governing Board Member Dana Saar.

#‎RioGrad‬ ‪#‎GED‬