SOUTH HOLLAND, IL – Like all spring High School Equivalency graduations at South Suburban College, this year’s ceremony marked the culminating event of an amazing educational journey. Clad in the traditional light blue caps and gowns and marching to Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, the graduates were led in the procession by South Suburban College’s Board of Trustees and executive leadership. This year’s ceremony was unprecedented as two of those walking across the stage to receive their diplomas were mother and son, Silvia Huizar Navarro and Gillermo Herrara.
This mother and son duo provided each other with the perfect recipe of love and support to ensure each successfully completed High School Equivalency classes at South Suburban College. “My husband and I have worked together to give our children a better life,” says Huizar. “I wanted to get my General Education Diploma (GED) to teach my children that they have to continue studying if they want to have a better life.” It was amazing walking across the stage with my son,” adds Huizar. “It was an incredible experience.”
Herrera echoed those sentiments. “It felt a little weird sharing the stage with my mom, but the experience has provided inspiration to keep doing what I love to do. I’m more than proud of my mother for graduating, and others were proud of both of us.” What Herrera loves to do is work with computers and hopes to continue his education by enrolling in computer hardware and engineering courses at South Suburban College. His plan is to eventually transfer to a four-year university. “In ten years, I see myself owning my own computer company while also doing something computer-related in the entertainment industry,” explains Herrera.
Mom feels her journey is just beginning, as well. Huizar Navarro, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, admits that her biggest obstacle to success was the lack of formal education in her country and the language barrier as a student in the United States. I had to split my time between caring for my children, working on weekends, and studying in my free time.” Passing the English portion of the GED test was the first hurdle that Huizar Navarro overcame. Like her son, Huizar Navarro sees obtaining her GED diploma as the beginning of her educational journey. “My dream now is to become a registered nurse in a hospital. I’m already studying to become a Nursing Assistant,” says Huizar Navarro proudly.
Both Herrara and Huizar Navarro credit SSC’s supportive Adult Education Department for their academic success. Navarro describes her months at SSC as “incredible and interesting,” while Herrera says it was a “great experience meeting new people and having a supportive teacher.”
Seeing the admiration and love each has for the other, there’s no doubt that the personal support system they’ve developed over the past few months will continue to inspire them to attain their future respective goals. Huizar Navarro went on to state, “I hope the adult education program at SSC lasts for generations for people who did not finish their studies. It’s very rewarding when you finish.” Perhaps another Mother/Son walk across the SSC Performing Arts Center stage is in the future for this determined duo!
SSC will have its next registration for High School Equivalency and English Language Acquisition classes September 11, 12, and 13. These classes are free for all Illinois residents. For more information about the HSE Commencement Ceremony or Adult Education programs, contact the Adult Education Department at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2385 or ext. 2240. Para información en Español comuniquese al Centro Latino (708)210-5740 o a Latino@ssc.edu. South Suburban College is located at 15800 S. State Street in South Holland, IL.