MCC’s Adult Education & Literacy program to host graduation July 21

July 18, 2022

McLennan Community College’s Adult Education & Literacy (AEL) program will host a Graduation Ceremony July 21 at 7 p.m. at the Conference Center on the MCC campus. The ceremony will honor 38 students completing the Graduate Education Development (GED) requirements, nine competing the Educator Paraprofessional Certification program, and 10 completing the Certified Nurse Assistant program.

GED graduates Kassandra Anaya and Rebecca Downs have overcome several obstacles to receive their diplomas.

Anaya, a 29-year old mother of two and California native, moved to Waco to start a new life after being laid off from Tesla during the COVID-19 pandemic and enrolled in MCC’s program last fall. By June she had completed all four (math, language arts, social studies, and science) GED exams.

“It took me years to accomplish,” Anaya said. “I needed six credits to graduate from high school in California back in 2011 when I had to leave the country to care for a family member. I enrolled and dropped out of adult school a total of three times in California.”

Anaya plans to enroll in MCC’s Paralegal Studies program, with hopes of continuing to law school.

“I saw a lot of injustices when working at a meat-packing plant in California. It felt good to help make a difference, and I want to be able to do more work like that.”

Like Anaya, 33-year old Downs had several false starts at returning to school to obtain her GED. But AEL teacher Sabrina Dixon, a long-time friend of Downs, encouraged her not to give up.

“I would get so close, but then I would fail the math exam. I became so discouraged, I thought, ‘This isn’t for me.’ Sabrina told me ‘You are too smart; you need to go back to school. So, with the support of my best friend and children, I knew I had to give it another try.”

Downs scored high enough to jump into AEL’s Fast Track program and her teachers helped keep her motivated.

“They weren’t going to let me fail,” Downs said. “I took my language arts exam in March, my science exam in April, my social studies in May, and I procrastinated to the end, taking the math test just last month, in June.”

Now, 17 years since leaving high school, Downs has the GED diploma as proof of her achievements. She plans to enroll in MCC’s Radiologic Technology program this fall.

MCC’s AEL program receives funding from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to support opportunities for individuals who are at least 16 years old, lack a high school credential or function below the high school level, or are unable to speak, read, or write English, and are seeking career training, high school equivalency preparation, or college. Courses are free to students that meet the requirements of the program.

For more information about the Adult Education & Literacy program, contact Michelle Telg-Moore at 254-299-8760 or