Published Jun. 13, 2014
By Tri-City Herald
Ethan Mak, 7, runs away with his mom Jinju
Mak's GED certificate at the conclusion of the GED and High School
Completion Ceremony held in Columbia Basin College's gym in Pasco on
Jinju Mak took classes at Columbia Basin College to prepare for her General Educational Development, or GED, tests.
She hoped to get help with her reading and writing, and to brush up on her math, she said.
Mak, 44, of Kennewick, received her GED certificate during a ceremony Friday in the gym at the Pasco college.
And she earned a loud round of applause when it was announced that she’d posted a perfect math score.
Earning that score felt good, Mak said, sitting in her cap and gown before the ceremony, with her son, Ethan, 7, at her side.
evening event celebrated more than 400 students who earned their GEDs,
along with about a dozen who earned high school diplomas through CBC’s
high school completion program.
Not all the students could attend,
but about 100 or so showed up in caps and gowns, marching to their
seats as loved ones in the audience cheered, waved, snapped photos and
shot video to capture the moment.
Guadalupe Cortez, who earned her
GED after years of struggle and is working toward a bachelor’s degree,
spoke during the ceremony.
It took perseverance to prepare for and pass the GED tests and open the door to a brighter future, she said.
remember, nobody said it was going to be easy after you open one door,”
she said. But keep pushing, and you’ll find the right one.
Soroptimist International Three Rivers Club was recognized with the
Community Educator of the Year award for helping with exam costs for
students who couldn’t pay. And Anita Smith, who has taught basic skills
at CBC since 1994 and is retiring, was awarded Educator of the Year.
Mak told the Herald that she’s grateful to Smith for her help and guidance.
China, Mak worked as an architect. Then she moved to the U.S., had her
son and stayed home. Now he’s growing up, and she’s looking to get back
into the work world, she said.
Earning her GED, with help from CBC -- “it gave me confidence,” she said.
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