TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tonight family and friends gathered to see their loved ones do something they have never done before: graduate with a high school education.
The Literacy Council of Tyler has helped assist adults looking to get their GED since 1990. The council also helps adults who need to learn English and those who have a reading level below 8th grade.
Abygayl Alvarez graduated with her GED in 2012 after dropping out of the 8th grade. Thursday she was asked to come back as the commencement speaker for the class of 2018.
"The only one that ever holds us back is ourselves; it's fueled with fear and doubt and you have to put all of that aside, and your wish, you have to stop wishing because your want has to be greater than your wish." Alvarez said. "That's the only way to succeed."
Now Abygayle has both her associates and bachelor's degrees, and says if all goes well, by this time next year she will have a master's degree in public health from UT Health Science Center's School of Community and Rural Health.
She says her hope is to inspire the more than 200 graduates Thursday to not stop here, but to continue learning.