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  • Newest Las Artes graduates pass tougher GED test

    Jul 21, 2014 | Read More News
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    The young people who graduated last week from Pima County’s Las Artes Arts & Education Center had to pass a GED test that was revamped for the first time since 2002. “And it wasn’t easy,” said Program Manager Elena West.

    Las Artes graduatesThe math section was tougher. The science and social studies sections required more problem solving and analytical thinking. And students had to take the test on computers instead of with pencils and paper.

    But the GED test was just the latest life challenge that Las Artes students have confronted and overcome. At last week’s graduation, they talked about getting kicked out of school or dropping out to go to work to support their families.

    “Las Artes is the center of empowerment for at-risk youth, those who had to be exceptional to succeed,” said Nahrin Jabro, who graduated from Las Artes in 2009 and went on to graduate with honors from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

    William McCoy, one of the 2014 class valedictorians, said Las Artes’ small class size, organized structure and support made it possible for him to obtain his GED.

    Elena WestDorothée Harmon, program manager for Pima County One-Stop Career Center, urged the graduates to continue their educations and take advantage of One-Stop’s series of free employment assistance seminars.

    “There is nothing you cannot learn,” she said. “There is nothing you cannot achieve.”

    Students at Las Artes, a program of the Pima County Community Services, Employment and Training Department at 23 W. 27th St. in South Tucson, learn the discipline that will help them succeed at work and in life while working on community art projects. Their murals, ceramic tiles and other artwork can be seen across Pima County. They also spend several weeks studying academic subjects in preparation for the general educational development tests.

    More than 500 Las Artes students have obtained their GEDs since the program began nearly 20 years ago. For more information, please visit Las Artes online.