A grant covering class tuition for Darion P. Perkins, of Texas City, changed his job prospects – and his perspective.

“I was really trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life when I came to College of the Mainland,” said Perkins.

At College of the Mainland, Perkins met with career navigator Roger Mora, who recommended he enroll in an Accelerate Texas Program. The program allows him to take GED and technical classes at the same time to begin a new career quickly. Perkins opted to take welding classes.

“It’s more than putting metal together. You can turn it into an art,” said Perkins.

While Perkins is taking classes, Roger Mora, COM career navigator, also connected him with SER-Jobs for Progress, a community organization that helps individuals get jobs with interviewing and resume and other career assistance. He’s now working at Banana Republic at Tanger Outlets and determined to graduate.

“Darlene Casa [a COM GED instructor] kept me focused. She wouldn’t let me give up. It was good to have somebody actually care,” said Perkins. “Now I have something to do and focus toward.”

Accelerate TEXAS Programs help underprepared adults to complete high-demand career training programs while they are enrolled in classes that improve their reading and math skills. Students may work toward a GED while they are training or be learning English as a second language.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board funds Accelerate TEXAS and provides services at state community colleges in partnership with federally supported adult education and literacy programs funded by the Texas Workforce Commission.  

For more information on the COM Adult Education Program, call 409-933-8294.