San Jacinto College student Josmar Garcia was awarded the English as a second language (ESL) Persistence Adult Learner of the Year Award by the Texas Association of Literacy and Adult Education (TALAE).
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, who has supported other adult learners, and who 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 (IET) program,” said Denise Orand, director, adult education and grants. “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 IET program for educational aide. He truly is a good example of persistence paying off.”
Garcia, who moved the United States 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 the Pasadena Independent School District 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.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.