Courtney Seals, Southwest Key’s Program Director for the Day Enrichment Program in Travis County, addresses the graduates.
On June 8, Southwest Key’s Travis County Day Enrichment GED Program held its 2012 graduation ceremony at Southwest Key’s el Centro de Familia campus in Austin. On hand to address the graduates was Austin Community College’s Dr. Mariano Diaz-Miranda, Director of ACC’s El Centro for Latin American Studies.
After recounting his own professional path, Dr. Diaz-Miranda handed out business cards to each of the graduates telling them that ACC’s admissions process is “a mess” and that they should go directly to his office where he and his staff will help walk them through it. Impressive honesty from a man who truly cares about helping kids succeed.
Afterward, the keynote speaker for the evening, rapper/singer/songwriter/filmmaker SaulPaul addressed the audience on the importance of making good choices. SaulPaul graduated from the University of Texas at Austin after serving time in the state penitentiary. SaulPaul says that while he was in prison, he realized he wasn’t in there for any other reason than the bad choices he’d made. Since graduating from college, he’s gone on to have a career in the entertainment industry that allows him to fly around the world performing and acting as a motivational speaker.
One of SaulPaul’s claims to fame is his ability to freestyle rap, “off the dome” or off the top of his head, which he does daily for the sports recap also known as “The Rewind” on ESPN Radio. During his speech at Southwest Key, SaulPaul asked people to throw out some random words for him. The audience obliged, offering many occasion-appropriate words like “respect” and “persevere” before attempting to stump SaulPaul with “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” It didn’t work. His performance is below.
Two graduates received scholarships to attend ACC and all the graduates received a month bus pass to aid with their job searches, along with a promise from the Southwest Key staff to support them in their job search in any way they can.
Congratulations to all the Day Enrichment GED graduates. In the words of SaulPaul, “You’ve proven you’re a survivor by getting your GED. Take advantage of all the resources available.”