YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee recognized 32 graduates from its Family Learning Center at the 2020 Virtual Graduation on Saturday, July 25. The students earned their High School Equivalency diplomas after passing the challenging HiSET (formerly GED) test. Through a partnership with the Hispanic Family Foundation, YWCA offers classes in Spanish, which has helped students like Ivett Lopez Noyola find success.
“The YWCA gave me the opportunity to take the entire program in Spanish,” Lopez Noyola said. “Having three daughters, I wanted to show them the importance of following your dreams and achieving your education.”
Lopez Noyola began the adult education program at the YWCA’s FLC in 2017. She has taken her love or education to the classroom, where she now works as a teacher’s assistant at a preschool serving three and four-year old children.
The FLC Virtual Graduation featured an inspirational video to the students from area personalities, including NewsChannel5’s Lelan Statom and retired WSMV anchor and independent filmmaker Demetria Kalodimos. YWCA Board Member and retired healthcare CEO Rita Johnson-Mills was the keynote speaker and shared the motivating story of a little Black girl from Hayti, Missouri who found success through education. YWCA’s president/CEO shared a message of hope with the dedicated students.
“Education is a superpower and can help shape the trajectory of your life,” YWCA President/CEO Sharon K. Roberson told the graduating class. “Now you have the proof that if you work hard for something, you can be successful.”
Of the many HiSET programs in Middle Tennessee, YWCA’s Family Learning Center boasts a quarter of all graduates. The COVID-19 pandemic has offered the FLC an opportunity to hold all adult education classes (both English and Spanish) online. Enrollment in the FLC continues to be robust, and there have been 23 new students enroll in July alone. The HiSET test is being administered in person once a month at the YWCA administrative offices in Green Hills.