The Omega School Graduation Ceremony is always an emotional time for longtime Omega School Principal Oscar Mireles as he gets to see the latest batch of students that he’s worked with all year make good on their second chance and be honored for all of their hard work to obtain their GED/HSED credential. The recent 2017 Summer Graduation Ceremony at Fountain of Life Church on Madison’s south side was no different.
“Each of our Omega School students had a different journey, but through perseverance, hard work and focused effort they were able to earn their GED/HSED credential,” Omega School Principal Oscar Mireles tells Madison365. “I am proud that they are now in a position to move on to the next stage of their lives as productive members of our community. Their families were glad to see this moment happen.”
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.
Omega School graduates this year included Marissa Bradley, Jaiden Clark, Dionna Blathers, Nick Alvanos, Destiny Bloodsaw, Elvira Garcia Reyes, Jose Luis Garcia, Luis Hernandez Murrillo, Bee Lee, Dalshay Robinson-Ento, Daniel Ramos, and Ashley Taft. Using their GED as a stepping stone, Omega School graduates will go on to finding work in the community while others will keep pushing forward with their educational aspirations.
At the graduation event, which was sponsored by Altrusa Club of Madison, the welcome and introduction were given by William Thielmann, president of the Omega School board of directors. The Leadership Award was presented to Carol Koby, host of “All About Living.”
Omega School graduates took turns talking about what the Omega School program has meant for their lives.
“As far as this program goes, I have to give a huge ‘thank you,’ especially to Oscar [Mireles] for working around my schedule with me having a kid and a job and doing all of these things that are new to me,” said Nicholas Alvanos. “He helped me through every situation I had and got me to study and got me to do the test that I didn’t want to do and he got me to come in when I didn’t want to come in. He got me to the place that I knew I wanted to be. I never really had my head on straight enough to see that that was where I could go.
“I never thought I would be here today walking this stage and I am thankful to all of my teachers,” he added.
Jaiden Clark told the crowd that he really wanted to thank his family.
“This program helped me quite a bit and I was glad that I was able to finish,” Clark said. “I’m looking forward to college.”
Jose Luis Garcia thanked everybody that pushed him to get through the program as fast as he could. “I just have one thing to say: Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
“It wasn’t easy for me because I also have a full-time and part-time job,” said Luis Hernandez Murillo. “This was just something that was very important for me and my family so I really pushed myself to do this for my future.”
The keynote speaker was William Vinson, campus president of Herzing University.