ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - It often takes time and somebody to believe in you to help students like Rebekkah Garcia, "When I was in regular school, I was being bullied a lot. It wasn't a good place for me. I let people tear me apart basically."
She, along with the others at the Alta Vista Learning Center in Abilene are working to make up for lost time. They're also working to earn their General Education Development certificate, better known as the GED. This program is a Highland Church of Christ initiative.
"So what we try to do is, people that like to volunteer, is to set them up as a mentor to a 16,17,18-year-old student here. To help them and to encourage them," says Royce Curtis, a retired Abilene Principal.
Curtis is a retired Abilene High Principal who worked in the education field for 37 years. He retired in 2010, "I was asked to help lead that. I'm retired. I had the time to do that. And I wanted to give back. It just seemed like a natural fit. It's been really it's gone well."
Once the students are ready to take the required tests, Highland Church of Christ steps up to pay the fees.
Curtis adds, "It's $37.50 a test and it's four tests. A lot of times when you're ready to test and you're 17,18, you don't have $37.50."
"He's helped me get my ID. He's helped me pay for two of my tests. He's helping me with Drivers Ed."
Garcia aspires to be a veterinarian and credits Mr. Curtis for leading her in the right direction,"When I met Mr. Curtis, he made it kind of a lot smoother for me. He guided me. He is like the little light I follow basically down the road."
Curtis says this program has helped 15 students complete their GED already this year. Last year, the program helped 35 students to achieve this goal.
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