Education = Empowerment
Jackie Guillory, the first SMORE candidate to complete a degree, graduated in 2020 from Lamar University with a degree in Social Work. She is a native of Port Arthur, Texas and worked on this degree for many years. She is pictured here with her professor Dr. Ginger Gummelt. Jackie was inducted into the Social Work National Honor Society.
When Jackie was twelve years old her mother died and Jackie took charge of the household responsibilities. To this day she has been a servant to others. She is a sweet soul and has common sense as well. Working with her has been an honor and a privilege.
We are very proud of her and her accomplishments.
Betty Bernard is an empowered mother of two daughters. She holds an Associate’s Degree from Lamar Port Arthur and is two semesters away for obtaining a Bachelor’s from Lamar University. She works at W.R. Grace in Pasadena, Texas where she is a Quality Control Technician.
She says, “Getting an education has made me knowledgeable in areas that are of my interest. Education is empowering because it is a process of continuous learning acquired at any time or any age. Taking advantage of academic and career opportunities has influenced me to become a well-rounded and grounded individual in my profession.”
Lisa Carson began achieving higher education when she joined the military reserves to qualify for the GI Bill. She chose the fast track to start a career in nursing because her husband at the time was in the Navy and they relocated often. She says, “ Education has empowered me to become independent financially, to have my own home and to provide for my kids. I have a fulfilling job as a nurse for a contractor of the Federal Prison In Beaumont. I work in the infectious disease department and am part of the Bureau of Prisons team that helps protect the public.”
Amanda Conway became a single mom at the age of 20. She dropped out of college and began working full time. She says, “I was blessed at the age of 25 to be able to take classes at LIT in Beaumont. My job allowed me to take classes, I also took mini sessions, summer courses, night classes and online classes and graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Real Estate in May of 2012. I passed the Real Estate Licensing Exam and obtained my Salesperson License and am now doing Real estate as well as Property Management here locally and thriving. I strongly feel that without being able to further my education, I would have struggled to this day to make ends meet. I have also had a ton of familial support along the way.”
Single Moms who have received a Program for Continuing Education (PCE)
“I have an Associate’s Degree in Office Administration. My education has empowered me by earning me a higher position on my job which came with an increased rate of pay which of course was much needed.”
LaTasha is an Administrative Assistant II for the City of Beaumont Streets and Drainage Division.
Going back to college was a decision I made to be an example for my boys. This is a way to better our lives and help us gain bigger and better things. The end is near and our future looks bright.