By Selwyn Harris
Rosendo Rodriguez arrived in America nearly 50 years ago.
The 72-year-old retired truck driver from Mexico was self-educated until roughly a year ago when he decided to enroll in the Nye County School District Adult Education program at Pathways, where he earned his General Education Development certificate GED .
Pathways Instructor Norma O’Connor said her student’s score surpassed her expectations.
“He’s been taking English classes and studying really hard for his GED. It is 450 to pass and he passed with 456. Now that he is getting it, he is going to present it to his daughter. He put his children through school and college. He retired from his job in California. He is happy for everything he has accomplished in his life, so he decided to get his GED,” she said.
Rodriguez is a humble gentleman, he said he really didn’t have plans to earn his diploma.
When he arrived in California from Mexico, he immediately found a job and began supporting his wife and children.
“I came to this country in 1964. I was delivering magazines,” he said.
As far as earning his diploma, Rodriguez said it was at times very challenging because he had no prior formal education.
“It helps to have a great teacher, so I was in good hands when I was studying for the test,” he said.
Though Rodriguez took the test in Spanish, O’Conner said certificates for those who pass the test are printed in English.
“They can use the English version of the certificate when they are looking for a job so the employer can read it clearly. Right now I have 35 students,” she said.
Rodriguez said he is considering taking college courses to advance his education.
“Maybe later on I will take a few college classes. I may take a drafting course,” he said.
Rodriguez has been married to his wife Mary for 47 years.
Both arrived in Pahrump July 4, 2006 from Southern California.