San Jacinto College student Josmar Garcia was awarded the English as a second language Persistence Adult Learner of the Year Award by the Texas Association of Literacy and Adult Education.
This $500 scholarship award is provided to a student who has demonstrated leadership within the formal or non-traditional learning environments, has overcome difficult circumstances to pursue adult learning, has supported other adult learners, and has managed significant adult responsibilities such as those related to employment, family, or community.
"Josmar worked hard to enter the San Jac Integrated Education and Training Program," said Denise Orand, adult education and grants director. "He did extra instruction through our distance learning program, took a summer course with us, and a year later we were able to place him in an integrated education and training program for educational aide. He truly is a good example of persistence paying off."
Garcia, who moved to the U.S. from Venezuela in 2017, was an instructor at the University of Los Andes for 25 years.
"After retiring as a professor, I decided to start a new stage of my life and come to this country — a country whose language was different than mine," Garcia said. "I started in the ESL program at San Jacinto College, and I set a goal to obtain a certification as a math teacher by 2021."
In July 2019, Garcia obtained his certification as a paraprofessional and was hired by Pasadena ISD as a special education teacher's aide. Currently, Garcia is also working on the application process with Region 4 to obtain his certification to teach math — one step closer to his goals.
"In the past three years, I have worked hard, and I now believe that when we have a desire to grow and overcome obstacles, it can all be accomplished by being persistent and having a desire to prosper," Garcia said. "I have now achieved part of my goals and will continue to work on the rest of my plan. This country is full of opportunities. It is important to find them and to surround yourself with people who help you achieve your goals."