Better late than never

By Taylor Hemness - email

"Pomp and Circumstance" is a song that most people hear in their teenage years, with a bright future still ahead.

Thursday night, despite being a little older, the futures are just as bright for a group of Literary Council of Tyler G-E-D graduates.

Dilia Salvador, a mother of two teenagers, came to America from Honduras almost 20 years ago with a teaching degree, but things didn't turn out like she expected.

"It has been hard because I couldn't do my job," Salvador said. "I had my teaching degree, but I couldn't be a teacher in the United States, so I was working doing house cleaning and office cleaning.

She got a late start, but she's not wasting any time...first earning her G-E-D, and already starting college at TJC. Stories like that are why the Literacy Council of Tyler exists.

"It's an inspiration to me, and it makes me realize how lucky I was," said council executive director Nancy Crawford. "But they've worked all day long, some from six in the morning, some two jobs, and they've gone home cleaned up, and then come from class from six to nine at night. I consider that a pretty long day."

Many graduates nodded and laughed during Crawford's commencement speech, when she joked about the troubles that she had with math in high school. For Dilia, math was not the problem.

"I did learn English in my country, but I didn't practice it," Salvador said. "But I had an excellent teacher, and he pushed me, and he taught me, and he told me I could do it, and I did it."

And for at least one graduate, the jobs that will come from this G-E-D down the road are not the most important part. Erica Vicory has a five month old daughter, and she can't wait to tell her about tonight, one day when she graduates.

"That it's awesome, and she really needs to ahead and graduate from high school," Vicory said. "But it was really awesome."