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PSJA ISD parent fulfills longtime education dream, earns GED at 53


PSJA ISD parent fulfills longtime education dream, earns GED at 53

PHARR- Fueled by the desire to be an example for her children, a Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) parent recently fulfilled her dream of earning a GED through the district’s Parental Engagement Program. 


Zoila Arauz, parent and grandmother of PSJA ISD students, completed her GED in Spanish last month on Sept. 13 after participating in the free classes offered through the PSJA Parental Engagement Program.


“I wanted to show my kids that if I can continue my education, so can they,” said the 53-year-old. “As parents, the best inheritance we can leave our kids is an education.” 


According to Arauz, like her son currently taking courses through PSJA’s Early College Program at PSJA North Early College High Schoolshe plans to enroll in classes at South Texas College. She also hopes to continue taking ESL classes through the PSJA Parental Engagement Program. 


“When we are young, we don’t realize the value of education,” said the PSJA parent regarding her dream of finally finishing school. “It is something we realize until we are adults.”


For her son Erick Cardenas, seeing his mother fulfill her dream of earning GED filled him with pride. 


“My mom is a really strong woman. It means a lot to see her challenging herself,” said the senior who plans to graduate with an Associate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in May. “I am so grateful for the opportunities PSJA offers us students and our parents.” 


Through the district's nationally recognized parent program, each year over 6,000 PSJA ISD parents participate in free classes in any of the eight Parent/Community Education Centers throughout the tri-city area.


At these centers, parents are able to earn college credit and certifications through partners like South Texas College and the Region One Education Service Center.


Courses available include: ESL, GED, Citizenship, Nutrition Arts & Crafts, Welding, Auto Mechanics and even Security Guard Certifications. Since the program's inception, hundreds of PSJA ISD parents have earned their GED and continued their education through the program.


“I have no words to describe the impact this program has had on my life,” said Arauz. “Without these opportunities, I wouldn’t have been able to earn my GED. Thank you for helping our community and supporting parents.” 


Classes offered through the PSJA Parental Engagement Program are free and open to all parents of PSJA ISD students regardless of home language or status. To enroll, parents can visit or call 956-354-2216.