Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Chris Herrin
Centro Hispano Marista, the Marist Hispanic Center, held its fifth commencement ceremony for 52 graduates on Dec. 11 at Marist School, Atlanta. Each graduate obtained their GED diploma.


Centro Hispano Marista hosts 2018 GED graduation

Published January 10, 2019  | En Español

ATLANTA—Centro Hispano Marista, also known as the Marist Hispanic Center, held its fifth commencement ceremony for 52 graduates, all of whom obtained their GED diplomas, on Tuesday, Dec. Marist School, Atlanta.

The program director of Centro Hispano Marista, Dr. Leticia Valencia, greeted the graduates and guests.

“Our mission is to turn educational dreams into a reality. We can only achieve our goal with a wonderful team that includes our energetic staff, dear founders, generous sponsors, and caring faculty and volunteers,” said Valencia in her remarks.

Father Bill Rowland, SM, president of Marist School, gave the welcoming address. Father Rowland spoke about the Society of Mary and recognized the effort and commitment that faculty members pour into the program.

Graduates of Centro Hispano Marista celebrate their graduation Dec. 11. The program enables adults who did not complete requirements for a high school diploma to pursue higher education and gain access to better jobs. Photo By Chris Herrin

“They are the unsung heroes of the GED program. Without them, we would not be here this evening, and the doors to a better economic future would be closed to our graduates,” he said.

All attendees and graduates gave teachers a wholehearted round of applause to show their appreciation and gratitude.

Roberto Orellana Jerez, a 2018 graduate of Centro Hispano Marista, was the keynote speaker at the GED graduation. Orellana, a native of Guatemala, encouraged his fellow graduates to go to college. To the students still working on their GEDs, he recommended participating in class and taking the test with determination and courage.

“It is better to err a thousand times and succeed once, than never succeed for fear to make mistakes,” he said.

The two valedictorians of the 2018 class were Diana Cuevas Cortez and Darwin David Rustrian Castillo.

Centro Hispano Marista is a program for adults, which opened with the help of the Society of Mary at Marist School in August 2012. Its purpose is to offer affordable education for adults who did not finish their high school diploma to obtain GED certification. This will enable them to pursue higher education and gain access to better jobs

The program is open to anyone who wants to complete the GED, regardless of nationality. Classes are offered in English or Spanish. More than 400 students enroll every semester.

For more information about this program, visit