Champions of Adult Education
From Extraordinary Story to Champions for Our Cause.
Story Musgrave Joins Educate & Elevate as Campaign Advocate
In the coming weeks, expect to hear more stories from leaders like Musgrave about the value of adult education as Educate & Elevate seeks to advocate for this vital resource. If you have an extraordinary example of someone who has used adult education as a catalyst, resulting in exceptional success, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Rachel De Vaughan – From GED to Ph.D.
For Educate & Elevate advocate Rachel De Vaughan, Ph.D., the power of adult education in reshaping one’s career path is well known. Indeed, without support from educators at Mississippi Gulf Community College, she may have never made the transition from a respected McDonald’s franchise manager, with no high school diploma, to a state education director with a higher-education-focused Ph.D. from William Carey University.
Adult Education Miracle: Kevin Hunt Sr.
Neda Anasseri: Coordinator, Technology Projects
Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)
Joseph J. Perez – U.S. Department of Education
Joseph’s time at college was filled with wonderful experiences and hard work. It placed him on a solid career path where he worked three internships, earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science and was the baccalaureate speaker at his college graduation. The guidance, excellent education and the workforce preparation that Joseph received helped him break the cycle of low expectations growing up and allowed him to not only become the first in his family to graduate from college but to dare to have bigger dreams.
Since graduating from college, Joseph has dedicated his life to public service by working at the U.S. House of Representatives, the White House and currently, the U.S. Department of Education. He works on issues related to career, technical and adult education and leads by example his strong advocacy of the very institution that he dropped out of in his youth, education.
Hector Martinez – Director for Adult Education at Kansas Board of Regents
Daydreaming about taking a “trip to the mountains in a white truck” in the land of opportunity, Hector Martinez and his wife moved to the United States with their four young children in 1999. Arriving in Houston and sleeping in a family member’s kitchen, Hector searched for work. Despite speaking little English, he found employment selling air conditioners door-to-door, earning just enough for rent and groceries every month. He also worked in a restaurant which allowed him to bring home extra meals but did not provide financial stability.
In December 1999, the family moved to Kansas where they lived in a 4 by 5 foot room for the six of them. Hector found a decent paying job at a meat packaging plant. Hector joined the Learning Center as a student of English as a Second Language and began volunteering as a computer instructor, working a hectic schedule that included three classes, 9-12, 3-5, and 6-9, and working the graveyard shift at the plant.
Hector received his professional visa in 2001 and began working as a computer coordinator at the ESL school. The family moved into their own home in 2002, a milestone on their pursuit to financial stability. They celebrated by taking their dream vacation, driving to Colorado in their white Expedition truck.
While applying for permanent residency status, Hector was promoted in 2006 to Director of the Adult Education Center, serving as District representative and president of the Kansas State Adult Education Association. He joined the Coalition on Adult Basic Education and served as representative for seven states and chaired the Technology and Conference committees, and has since gone on to rise to the highest ranks of adult education in his state, as the State Director of Kansas.
In 2012, Hector and his family were granted permanent residency, enabling his son to apply for financial aid at the university and his wife to work. Today, Hector and his family have all become American citizens, and his four children have graduated college and become professionals—an architect, family therapist, computer engineer, and physics engineer. His wife recently completed her teaching degree, Hector joined the Kansas Board of Regents in 2021.