When the most recent group of graduates from Acceleration Academies of Ector County (EAA) in Odessa, Texas, gathered to receive their diplomas, it wasn’t only family members, friends and educators who joined the celebration.
“Young students receive high school diplomas after taking advantage of unique pathway,” headlined the NewsWest9 story. “Ector County Acceleration Academies provide education with flexible scheduling for students who need it. Marco Salazar is a perfect example of the program’s purpose.”
Marco, who gave the keynote student speech to his fellow grads, took advantage of EAA’s flexible scheduling and personalized approach to successfully complete his high school studies even as he and his brother were working full-time to build their Mexican-Asian-French fusion catering business.
“It honestly changed my life to be able to continue my education and still grow my business at the same time,” said Marco. “Sometimes I even said ‘I don’t need this, I’m done, I don’t want to do it no more.”
But EAA educators didn’t allow him to give up on himself. “They’re like ‘Marco, you’re right here, let’s go, come on. Where are you stuck at?’ And, just that itself showed me that, they’re not just here for a paycheck, that they were here to get you to actually graduate.”
Dr. Scott Muri, Superintendent of the Ector County Independent School District, urged grads to be grateful for all the people who had supported them — a list that began with family members and expanded to include educators and school district leaders who wanted to give them a constructive alternative to dropping out.
“Acceleration Academies is a reality because Ector County Independent School District partnered with them to make this place happen for you,” said Dr. Muri. “You are each here today because you have partnered with people over the last 18, 19, 20 years that made this possible.”
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