It is so gratifying to read about the success of our Durango Education Center’s GED graduates. Now a chef at Mahogany Grille, Anthony Hamlin graduated about a decade ago and has been pursuing his dream of making delicious and healthful food for people. Anthony added so much to our school with his gentle demeanor, humor and persistence; he was a terrific role model for all of us.
Reading about Anthony made me recall another GED grad, Tyler Whitt, who is now the owner of a water-management company, Crystal Clear Water Systems. Tyler is an amazing worker and businessman who handles all of Durango West II’s water-maintenance issues for 300 families. This involves maintaining water supplies and lines, recording and monitoring usage, keeping track of storage in our million-gallon tanks (two of them) and making sure our water meets state standards (He is a licensed technician with at least two steps of state licensure). You can imagine the math, reading, writing and technology skills Whitt must have to oversee all of this successfully!
And just last week, we had a visit from yet another GED graduate. After graduation, she earned her RN degree at Southwest Colorado Community College and now practices her profession at Mercy Regional Medical Center. All of these adult learners were able to pursue careers with a GED, and all are not only contributing residents – they are living the lives they hoped and planned for with a solid education. Even though the traditional route of public school wasn’t the option that worked best for them, because our center is still here for such students after 26 years, they found an open door to their futures. Thank you to our community, our donors and to Durango School District 9-R, Bayfield and Ignacio school districts (a few of our many partners) for recognizing that keeping alternative pathways to achievement is essential for everyone.
We have much to celebrate about all of our local public schools, and we, too, at the Durango Education Center are proud to make a difference for our extraordinary students.