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Omega School graduates of 2016

The annual Omega School Prom is a night of dinner, dancing, and fun hosted by Omega students and graduates that will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Friday, May 12.

“A lot of our students at Omega School are high-school aged but are not in a traditional school so this is a great chance to get together for dinner and chatting and music and fun,” says Oscar Mireles, executive director/principal of Omega School, an alternative, adult basic education and diploma completion program on Madison’s south side. “Tierra Golpe will be playing some music to kick things off and a former graduate Louis Bentley, who is working at American Family Insurance now, will talk about his experiences [with Omega School] coming up on almost 20 years ago now.”

Since 1972, Omega School has provided individualized basic skills instruction in a supportive and informal atmosphere, and by working cooperatively with other agencies and institutions, has helped thousands of adults prepare for, and obtain, a GED/HSED credential.

Every year the host the Omega School Prom, an annual fundraising event that helps Omega continue its mission and expand its education opportunities to many more. DJ David Mohammad will be spinning tunes at the Omega Prom this year while attendees can enter for a chance to win cool raffle prizes like Executive Auto Detailing from Wilde East Towne Honda, restaurant gift certificates for Bonfyre American Grille and El Pastor, a night’s stay at The Madison Concourse Hotel and more.

“Some of our students will be there and it will be a chance for them because they missed their prom,” Mireles tells Madison365. “It’s a fundraiser for Omega School. We give out scholarships for students who take the GED test and this will help pay for that and pay for bus tickets and gas cards for students.”

Karen Lincoln Michel
Karen Lincoln Michel

Karen Michel, editor of Madison Magazine, will be the keynote speaker for the event.

“We are very excited to have her,” Mireles says. “She’ll be talking to the students about the importance of an education and talk about starting a career.”

At the event, Omega School will be presenting a leadership award to Luis and Lupita Montoto, owners of La Movida Radio 1480 AM.

“I think those two have really brought the community together through language and through the radio. They have an incredible story,” Mireles says. “They have opened up their radio station and newspaper to really promote a lot of things that are going on in the community and they do some great educational programs. They have a sense of community that is incredible.”

Lupita and Luis Montoto of La Movida Radio
Lupita and Luis Montoto of La Movida Radio

Omega School began as an alternative for young people who were not succeeding in a traditional high school setting. Today it serves students of all ages who want to complete their high school education

“We are doing well here at Omega. We had some challenges with the test and then they adjusted it and now we’re back on track,” Mireles says.

Omega School graduates
Omega School graduates

A few years back, the GED test was made to be more rigorous than before and testing fees increased, and the number of people earning a GED plunged in the state and nationwide. In 2014, only 912 people graduated with a GED in Wisconsin, compared to 11,378 in 2013.

“They changed the test in 2014 and 2015 and they lowered the score in 2016. We’ve been letting people know that the test has changed and we’re getting there one step at a time,” Mireles says.

“The Omega Prom is one of our signature events and is not only supporting a good cause but it’s a lot of fun. We throw a great party,” Mireles adds. “It’s a chance to meet some of our Omega students past and present and talk to them about their experiences.”

The annual Omega School Prom at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Friday, May 12. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and program to follow at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75. You can purchase a ticket from Oscar Mireles, call the office at (608)256-4650 or email info@omegaschool.org to make arrangements. All net proceeds will benefit Omega School.

Written by David Dahmer

David Dahmer

A. David Dahmer is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Madison365.

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