Academy News

Ector News Outlets Cover Recent Graduation

March 27, 2024
Ector News Outlets Cover Recent Graduation Hero Image

When the 18 graduates of Acceleration Academies of Ector County recently walked across the stage to celebrate their diplomas, local news media turned out to chronicle the extraordinary day. 

“Non-traditional graduation held for Odessa students who might have been high school dropouts if it weren’t for this program,” the NewsWest 9 TV headline read. 

“I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life,” 19-year-old graduate Kaydince Asad told the TV station. Fellow grad Evyn Castillo added, “It feels like I got another chance.” 

That’s exactly the goal, explained EAA Director Natosha Scott. “A lot of times we have students here who have not felt smart, who no one’s ever told them that they were smart. Or one kid told me ‘No one’s told me [I’m smart] since elementary school, Miss.’  And I said ‘But you are! Look at what you’re doing and how quickly you’re doing it and how well you’re doing it. Look at your grades.’ ”

The Odessa American newspaper also covered the event, documenting the latest wave of graduates who — due to work and family commitments, academic challenges and a wish for more one-on-one support — needed something that traditional schools can’t provide. 

Graduation speaker Nayeli Serna thanked EAA educators, leaders of the Ector County Independent School District, family and friends for the support they had provided. She spoke for many grads in saying that Acceleration Academies changed her life for the better. 

“After all these years, we’re finally done guys. We did it,” Nayeli told her classmates. “I have to be honest, if it weren’t for Acceleration Academy, I would not be who I am today.” 

Click here to read and view the NewsWest 9 coverage. Click here to read the Odessa American article.