Career and Adult Education Graduates Aim for Better Futures

Hacienda La Puente Adult Education ceremonies honor students’ successes

LA PUENTE, Calif., May 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hacienda La Puente Adult Education (HLPAE) announces its upcoming graduation and awards ceremonies for more than 600 students, celebrating those studying English-as-a-Second (ESL) language, adult education, and job skills and career training. Two back-to-back events will take place on May 15th and May 16th from 10am to 11am at Hacienda Heights Community Center, 1234 Valencia Avenue, Hacienda Heights.

May 15th showcases the Adult Education ESL Graduation Ceremony, where nearly 40 students graduate from ESL courses and 105 complete the Citizenship Program.

“Our ESL and citizenship program are great steppingstones for students to then complete their high school diploma or equivalency and move into earning additional credentials and successfully join the workforce,” said Executive Director, Dr. Greg Buckner, HLPAE.

Approximately 23% of the population in HLPAE’s service area does not have a high school diploma or equivalency, which has repercussions for the local economy and for those adults seeking to build a better future.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those without a high school diploma or equivalency have median weekly earnings of $721 compared to $905 for high school graduates with some college or an associate degree.

Workforce preparation is a critical focus at HLPAE offering training and short-term credentials in culinary, trades, health, business, cosmetology, and advanced private security. On May 16th, the school honors students in its 68th Adult Education exceling ceremony that recognizes those earning a high school diploma or equivalency, followed by its 60th Career & Technical Education Awards Ceremonies for those exceling in job training in one of these fields.

Claudia De La Torre knows the power of finishing a high school diploma and job training as a certified nursing assistant. “It wasn’t an easy decision as I was helping to raise my three younger siblings, and my own daughter,” said Claudia.

“But I received so much support from my instructor Mrs. Chow and I’m now dreaming of becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse. For those questioning whether a high school diploma is worth it, it definitely is!”

John Acharya shares similar sentiments and is one of the CTE Award recipients. Born and raised in Nepal in a refugee camp, he migrated to California in 2008 with his family and had not planned to continue with college due to finances. While working in a warehouse after high school, his grandfather was hospitalized, and John was amazed at the nurses and doctors who took care of him. John furthered his education at Citrus College to become an EMT for two years, and then enrolled at HLPAE in the Licensed Vocational Nursing program.

John praised HLPAE, “Having a nursing director like Ms. Silva Davila, who dedicated her time and effort to make us great nurses, inspired and motivated me to further my nursing career.”

More information about HLPAE may be found at

Anika Jackson

SOURCE Hacienda La Puente Adult Education