Immigrants come to Miami to escape violence and have a better life for themselves. However, they often struggle to get their high school diploma. They are told that they are too old to get a high school diploma. They are forced to enroll in an Adult Education Program. Many of these immigrants know very little English, so an adult education program can be challenging for them.
The path to going to college and get a good-paying job can be even more difficult if you are an immigrant. It is estimated that anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 of the teenage immigrants end up in an Adult Education Program. Daisy Gonzolez-Diego stated that the purpose of the program is to help the students earn a high school equivalency.
One lawyer who worked with a teen who had been denied entry into a high school stated that it is unethical to do this to students. Tatyana Kleyn is a professor at the City College of New York. She agrees that this practice is unethical. She stated that the Adult Education Programs are not a substitute for the high school experience. She believes that it is a watered-down version of the high school experience.
Carlos Rios is the principal of Miami Jackson Senior High School. He stated that it can be difficult for immigrants to make up the credits that they need for graduation. Not everyone has a bad experience in the adult education program.
Franscisca and Lucia Rondom came to Jackson High School when they were 16 and 17-years-old. They did not have a good experience there because they were bullied. They decided to attend an adult education program. They also worked at a local grocery store.