NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 10, 2019) – YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee celebrated 65 women and men and their families at the annual Family Learning Center Graduation on Saturday, June 8 at Trevecca University’s Boone Convocation Center. The graduates passed the challenging HiSET (formerly GED) exam and walked across the stage in cap and gown to accept their hard-earned diplomas. This year’s graduates include a husband and wife and pair of sisters.
Students graduating from the program hail from four continents and 14 countries, including Iceland, Morocco, and Colombia. Each overcame numerous challenges, including language barriers, to complete the YWCA’s Adult Education Program. Half of new graduates came to the FLC from the Hispanic Family Foundation where the YWCA’s FLC holds Adult Education classes several times a week. That’s where Student Speaker Claribell took the classes that helped her pass the HiSET.
“I dropped out of high school more than ten years ago, and when I arrived for classes at the Family Learning Center, I knew it was up to me not to give up,” said Claribell Escamilla, a 29-year old Colombia native and now proud U.S. citizen. “Past failure is important for success and this journey has changed me, and I don’t want it to stop now.”
Escamilla will be enrolling in Nashville State Community College to pursue her associates degree. Unlike Escamilla and the students who graduated from the FLC, nearly 100,000 adults in Metro Nashville do not have a high school diploma. The Nashville Adult Literacy Council reports that 20 percent of adults in Davidson County are functionally illiterate. Individuals who pass the HiSET can receive higher wages, better job opportunities, and access to higher education. Of the dozen Adult Education programs in the Nashville area, the YWCA’s FLC boasts nearly a quarter of all graduates.
“Education is the key to your success and you are an inspiration to your children and families,” YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee President & CEO told the graduates. “Each of you worked hard and proved that hard work pays off. You dared to be brave, and now you are reaping the rewards!”
The YWCA’s Family Learning Center offers high quality, culturally sensitive, comprehensive family-centered programming to help families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and illiteracy. The FLC focuses on community-based early childhood education, parent-child learning time, parenting education, adult literacy, career services and continuing education support for families.
FLC is supported through generous funders, including Dollar General Literacy Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.
For 120 years, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee has helped women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee build safer, more self-sufficient lives. YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Programs include Domestic Violence Services, Girls Inc., AMEND Together, Dress for Success and the Family Learning Center. For more information, visit https://ywcanashville.com, follow us on twitter @YWCANashville and find us on Facebook facebook.com/YWCANashville.