Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Pima County’s Las Artes’ graduates get GEDs

November 10, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Arizona Adult Education, Featured

by Pima County News on Oct. 28, 2011, under One Stop, Pima County, Tucson

Twenty-four young people graduated from Pima County’s Las Artes Arts & Education Center this week.

Armed with their GEDs, they are now better prepared to become employed, pursue more education or training, and handle life’s challenges.

Most of the members of this final graduating class of 2011 came to the program after giving up on traditional high school.

At least one was homeless. One had stopped going to school in eighth grade. Another had attended many schools because her family moved a lot. At a dinner for the graduates and their families this week, two talked about school coming in second to the jobs they needed to support themselves or their families. Many of these young students had children of their own – and were inspired by them.

“I know I need to do my best so I can give you the life you deserve,” one young father said.

Las Artes, a program of the Pima County Community Services, Employment and Training Department, combines structured classroom study with community art projects to prepare students for GED testing and to build their employability skills.

Working for eight weeks on a community art project helped the students appreciate and develop the discipline they needed to pursue their dreams. Studying for up to 24 more weeks helped them prepare for the GED tests.

Las Artes students’ murals, ceramic tiles and other artwork can been seen along South Tucson’s Fourth Avenue and on benches along Sahuarita’s main drag, from Marana’s Town Hall to a red, white and blue sports tribute at East Ajo Way and South Country Club Road.

Their work will be part of the Tucson Children’s Museum’s Dia de los Muertos exhibit this year. They will be contributing to the public art that will be part of the University of Arizona Bioscience Park and the Santa Cruz River Park between Silverlake Road and Ajo Way.

“Las Artes means being at school on time every day and following the rules,” one graduate said. Several graduates thanked the teachers for “being so strict,” and one was grateful for the “friends, education and hope” she found at Las Artes.

Clearly proud of obtaining their GEDs, the graduates shared their plans to attend Pima Community College, cosmetology school, the University of Arizona and Pima Medical Institute to study literature or international business management, to pursue a master’s degree or become a veterinary technician.

“I know I’m not going to stop here,” one said.

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