Taos Education & Career Center students share experiences


Editor’s note: Students taking the Reading and Writing for Career Pathways class wrote letters to the editor about their learning experiences at the Taos Education & Career Center (formerly the Adult Learning Center @ UNM-Taos). Look for more in the next edition of The Taos News. The center will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor its new name and expanded mission Dec. 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the town of Taos Civic Center, located at 120 Civic Plaza Drive.

Making choices

Making the choice to further your education can be difficult. If you work hard and set a goal for yourself, you can achieve whatever that goal might be.

Taking the step to get your HSE (High School Equivalency) is hard to do on your own. TECC (Taos Education & Career Center) has helped me set goals and see that if you really have a goal to get your HSE or even go to college, it really isn’t that impossible.

Having teachers that will take their time to make sure you’re not lost and that you understand what you’re learning is such a good support system.

A lot of the teachers try to tell you how you would use any of that stuff in “real” life. They try to make you realize that getting educated doesn’t have to mean just memorizing facts and dates, or making sure you know how to divide and multiply pointless fractions. Getting an education can be fun, fascinating and lead you to a great path that you can build a career on.

You have to ask yourself: do you want a career or a job?

Sometimes life can get in the way, and school doesn’t seem all that important. But you have to realize that you’re doing this for yourself.

With the TECC program you can learn and build your education, and if life gets in the way, or you realize that it really isn’t the right time for you to be here, you can take a semester off and come back the following one.

Of course, the amazing staff here at TECC wants you to stay and succeed, and they will support you. Support can help everyone get that little boost they were always looking for.

Wanashe Frank, Tres Piedras

Education now and then

Back in 2006, I was at Taos High School, but things weren’t how they are today. A lot of changes have been made.

But I still think choosing to get my HSE (High School Equivalency) at the Taos Education & Career Center (TECC) was one of the best choices I’ve made in a while because it is a really good place to take college-prep classes, which are free as well, and to me that is a big win for us all.

So even through the name changes to the Taos Education & Career Center, the teachers and staff have stuck to what they do best. That’s putting the students first, so that we can all learn much more than what we would have and on a low budget as well, which I think is amazing. And we as students should be thankful for all they do for so little. To my knowledge the teachers are very direct on how they teach the students. They are on point in their teaching skills. That’s what helps students learn a lot in such a short period of time.

Choosing TECC was a good decision that I made to further my education. I am very thankful for that and where I am today in life. And with that being said, I thank the staff of teachers for their dedication to their jobs, supporting and teaching all of us students.

Natalee A. Martinez, Taos Pueblo

Making life better

You might ask yourself why I would come to the Taos Education & Career Center. Well, I actually did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to make it better.

The one thing I was lacking was my HSE (High School Equivalency), which was holding me back from a lot of career goals in life. The career path I decided to take was welding, which has always fascinated me throughout the years of growing up, but you can’t find a job in the welding field willing to hire you without a diploma.

The Taos Education & Career Center allows me to achieve my goal of receiving my HSE and helping me find out which welding jobs are available near my location. I wanted to find a job that I would enjoy in life because if you don’t like the career you choose in life then you’re going to dread waking up and going to work. That’s why I chose welding because I enjoy the time I spend learning about it.

I knew that I had family who supported me in the decision I made for my life. It helps out a lot when you know someone is supporting you with every step you take, but in the end you have to be willing to support yourself. If you don’t have the will to accomplish your goals, then you’re going to keep hitting dead ends in life.

Robert Sweetwater, Taos

New beginning

Starting over is not too late.

For a new beginning, I am going to get my GED or HiSET.

I am looking forward to improving my skills. At the Taos Education & Career Center (TECC), you can make it work while keeping a job and working full-time. It is all worth it because I have worked hard in my life. Now I feel it’s time to work smart.

I was born in Taos in 1965. Back then the population was much smaller. It was a lot different, so school was really hard for me. I dropped out of school at a young age and I went to work. I worked long and hard doing flooring installation. And now I wish I had stayed in school.

I plan to take some business classes so I can start my own carpet store. Attending TECC will enable me to take college courses in the future and learn how to run a successful business.

Malcolm Anderson, Taos

A path for a new life experience

I am a 40-year-old mother of three beautiful children who grew up in the small community of Taos with a huge desire to finish my high school diploma — and continue my education so that I may become a bigger part of my children’s education and my community.

My past experience trying to finish always left me feeling discouraged and with a lot of unanswered questions. This time around I found this newly renamed program, Taos Education & Career Center (TECC). It sounded like just what I was looking for to help me on this new path.

When I called, they were excited and very helpful upon hearing of my needs and concerns in acquiring what I needed to get the path carved and ready for a journey. TECC helped find a way in the program to make it work. It was much easier and more inspiring than I thought.

Finding a program like this in our community helped me move forward in school. They prepared me for what classes I needed to take so that my goals for college were easier to meet. This program is free and they truly prepare you for the easiest path to get it done. The staff is kind and concerned for everyone’s needs. They help with all the options available to fulfill parts of the process.

I am excited about this experience and getting my master’s in counseling so that I can come back and help my community the same way it helped me.

Genevee Boyd, Taos