SAN ANTONIO – Whether it's at-risk teenagers unable to make it to school or adults trying to get into college or switch industries to land the job of their dreams, you'll find these students learning in the same education center.
Restore Education served about 500 total students last year and because of the high demand for flexible learning, moved into a bigger, brand new facility Aug. 30.
Since July, the center has served more than 200 students.
Restore Education offers help with:
- High school equivalency tests (GED test).
- College entrance tests, (TSI test).
- Six workforce trainings including: health care, business, hospitality.
The variety of programs are for people 16 and older. Many younger students are dealing with circumstances that keep them from attending traditional schools.
"Sometimes it can be taking care of family members who are ill, or their own children, or it could also be that they're homeless. So because of that instability, they need a place that can be flexible," said Student Success director Kerri Rhodes.
There is no age cap and the organization does not ask about income level. All training is free.
"I'll get that, 'Am I too old to come?' The answer is, 'No, you're not too old to come, and you're never too old to go for your educational dreams.' I've seen students come to us in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and they are now in college. So working with those students, it's so exciting to see them change their life," Rhodes said.
Maria De Los Angeles Espinoza is one of those older students who just graduated from the office administration workplace training.
She wanted to work as an office administrator but didn't have the skills, including using computers. Computers and typing lessons were available at Restore Education.
"It was very important because I don't own a computer. I was very afraid of just touching, turning on a computer, and I got the skills here," Espinoza said.
The new facility has a medical training center equipped with a life-sized mannequin and other tools for hands on learning.