Single Mom Realizes Dream to Finish High School Diploma


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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Adriana Franco poses in her cap and gown for the 2024 High School Equivalency HSE graduation ceremony

Meet 2024 HSE Graduation Student Speaker Adriana Franco

Rio Salado College will hold its 2024 High School Equivalency (HSE) graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix.

Watch the 2024 HSE Commencement Ceremony Live 7 p.m. June 18

The two students chosen to serve as speakers at the ceremony are Adriana Franco and Xander Westfall. Today, meet Franco.

Single Mom Adriana Franco Realizes a Dream

Single mother Adriana Franco faced many obstacles while returning to school for her high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, but thanks to her unwavering determination, she has realized her dreams.

“I have had car issues, had my vehicle repossessed, and was homeless for a bit, but still managed to get my goals accomplished,” Franco said. She began at Rio Salado’s Southern location in October 2023, squeezing in her in-person GED® test prep evening classes after working full-time during the days and caring for her 10- and 12-year-old daughters.

“I chose Rio Salado because of the feeling of being welcomed,” Franco said. “I saw how much enthusiasm there was with just getting registered that I knew this was the right place for me.”

Franco, 33, passed her final GED® subject exam in April.

She is currently enrolled in Rio’s Business Entrepreneurship career training program and will earn her certification in December.

“Getting my HSE diploma showed my kids and even some of my peers that age means nothing when you have a goal to reach,” Franco said.

Franco plans on pursuing a new career path based on a newfound love for education.

“My long-term goals now are to become a teacher for adults and sign up for college classes,” Franco said. “The education and support I received at Rio Salado have made me realize that I want to help others in my community reach their full potential.”

About the Rio Salado Adult Education Program

Rio Salado College is Arizona's largest provider of Adult Education, helping students receive the training and career-ready skills they need to move forward professionally. Each year, Rio's adult education classes help thousands of people positively affect their lives. Rio Salado can help adult learners:

  • Prepare to earn a high school equivalency diploma through the GED® test or other pathways
  • Improve English language skills
  • Gain essential employability skills
  • Train for an exciting career
  • Transition to college

Dedicated instructors, success coaches, college and career navigators, tutors, and staff have helped students reach their individual learning goals, prepare for in-demand careers, and successfully prepare for and transition to college. Learn more online or register today!