New graduates overcoming homelessness, foster care, single parenting

Restore Education offers at-risk or second-time students gift of free education

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter, Jennifer Galvan - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - They are people who refuse to let their past dictate their future.

On Saturday, 70 students of all ages received either high school diplomas or workforce certificates.

San Antonio's Restore Education program allowed them to accomplish that goal. It's a free center offering programs for at-risk or second-time students, catering to each individual's needs and offering individualized tracks to every student.

Many students come from the foster care system, some are classified as homeless and 50% are parents, just like David Hogarth.

"I had a rough childhood. I grew up around gang violence, drug activity. I wanted that push, you know, especially because I'm a single father to a little boy," he said.

Hogarth wants a different life for his son.

"He's David Jr.," he said, smiling.

It's a name he wants his boy to be proud of, so when Hogarth's grandparents brought him to Restore Education, he kept that goal in mind.

"Our high school equivalency program allows students to complete their high school diploma. We also have workforce programs like a certified nursing assistant, we have an administrative assistant, we work with the hospitality industry. We also are going to be partnering with UTSA to provide IT training," said Lynzee Villafranca, with Restore Education.

Hogarth called the center and its staff a blessing.

"I'm going to start Palo Alto College in the fall, and I'm going for computer programming," Hogarth said.

He plans to continue using Restore Education as his journey continues. There are programs that help grads get stable jobs to support their families. To help with those goals, Restore Education partners with other nonprofits like the San Antonio Resource Center and Goodwill.

"Keep on going. Don't let nothing stop you," Hogarth said.

He hopes to inspire others in his community, saying he's proof that it's never too late to change your life.

To sign up or hear more about programs you can call (210) 432-6123 or email info@restoreeducation.com.
The center is located at 1903 San Pedro Road in San Antonio.

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