Migrant workers graduate, obtain their GED in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than 100 migrant workers are one step closer to the American dream. They looked beyond the fields and hit the books to obtain a high school graduate status.

The graduates walked one by one, savoring the moment on Friday. It's a moment that Victor Nolasco calls a comeback. He dropped out of high school during his junior year. Nolasco said, "They told me, 'You're not gonna make it; you might as well sign this paper and leave.'"

For the past four years, Nolasco has been working in the fields, just like his mom did, but it isn't what she wanted for him. "I just know she worked hard for so many years. All that's gonna go to waste. It's not fair on her part," said Nolasco.

In this crowd, Nolasco is a lot like those around him. They all want to change their lives, to get out of the fields, the dairies, the vineyards, and for them, a GED is the only way out.

Brenda Velasco is 18 and she wants to be a pediatrician. "It gives me a chance to go to college and get a job and career that I really want," she said.

To get here, it took several classes, 12 hours a week, countless hours of studying stretched between shifts at work and written tests on five subjects.

"I've seen the test," said Rebecca Mendibles, who is the CEO of Ser-Jobs for Progress. "I don't know if I could pass it; it's tough."

Although Nolasco doesn't know what he wants to do next, he says, at least now, he has more opportunity and the will to accomplish his goals. Nolasco said, "You want something more, you're gonna need an education. I got the education. I got this."

This is his comeback, something no one can take away from him.
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