Eighteen Manatee Technical Institute students became members of the National Adult Education Honor Society last night. The NAEHS was founded in 1991 to recognize the sacrifices and efforts of adult education students.
Here are a few stories of MTI students Sandra Hernandez, Rosalia Morente and Marco Romero. Hernandez was a project manager in her native Colombia, with several degrees in environmental engineering; she is working as a housekeeper while she attends MTI to learn English. Morente was out of school from the 3rd grade having to work with her family as a migrant farm worker; after suffering many other hardships, she is working towards earning her GED so she can enroll in Cosmetology. Romero has a disability, gets up before 5 a.m., lives on Ana Maria Island, takes the bus to and from school; he has perfect attendance and arrives each day with a smile and a warm greeting for all the students and staff.
Joining them were nominees Victoria Acosta, Paule-Danie Chery, Florencia Churi, Monica Galvan, Earnestine Green, Karla P. Guardado Aquino, Marcus J. Kemp, Claudia Lambert, Crystal Leach, Maria Lopez, Blanca Perez, Yoali G. Ramirez-Cassilas, Violeta Rodriguez, Erica Vega, and Ana Maria Viegas. Marisol Marin was also nominated but unable to attend.
MTI assistant director Linda Agresta shared their stories of perseverance and achievement as North Campus coordinator Vicky Rowe handed each student their membership certificate and pin. Family and friends pinned each of the inductees. School board members Karen Carpenter and David Miner and adult, career and technical education director Doug Wagner congratulated students. Ryan Langley and Ken Smith provided live music.
About half of the students are working towards a GED; the other half are learning English as a secondary language. The students were nominated for their attendance, cooperation and self-reliance.
The chapter is named for Lee Carter Brown, daughter of retired adult education coordinator Suzanne Paul and a strong advocate of literacy programs. Ms. Paul attended the ceremony, as she has every year since its inception. The ceremony was held at Bayshore High School.
PHOTO: MTI student Erica Vega is pinned by her daughter as adult, career and technical education director Doug Wagner prepares to congratulate her for her nomination into the National Adult Education Honor Society.