Fabulous GED Brunch Overflows
Fifth ‘Fabulous’ Brunch Overflows
The fifth annual Fabulous Holiday Brunch took place Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Omni Hotel at the Colonnade with a record attendance of about 640 supporters and donors. The reason? Because a group of volunteers — led by Martha Tijerina — is dedicated to the plight of raising money for SAC’s GED to College Transition Program.
About 60 volunteers make up the committee that plans this gala to help raise funds for SAC’s GED program through the SWANS (Services for Women and Non-Traditional Students) Department. Over the past five years, the Fabulous Brunch has raised more than $186,000.
This year’s contribution totaled $45,000, after expenses. The check was presented to Alamo Colleges’ Chancellor, Dr. Bruce Leslie; SAC President, Dr. Robert Zeigler; Alamo Colleges Foundation Director, Jim Eskin; and Women’s Center Director, Dr. Helen Vera. The committee also announced a new endowment for the GED fund. The starting sum is $20,000.
President of Texas A&M University – San Antonio, Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier, was the keynote speaker and offered a riveting recap of her own collegiate journey. Starting at SAC and then continuing to Our Lady of the Lake University, Dr. Ferrier’s heartfelt story was both inspirational and humorous. Later in the program, students from the GED program took the stage, and there was not a dry eye in the room.
SAC students, December Gutierrez, Jesse Tovar and April Earl, each spoke briefly about how receiving the Rising Star Scholarship has helped them to be successful GED graduates.
December, while holding back tears, explained to the audience some of the horrible details of her childhood. On a lighter note, she joked that the Empowerment Center really lived up to its name. About to give up, she called SAC for help and an anonymous employee referred her to the Women’s Center. That phone call changed her life.
April, who will be starting at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) in Spring 2013, spoke about how she was moved get her GED and go to college because of her husband and two kids. A social work major, April said she is so grateful for the scholarships she received that will allow her to finish her degree at OLLU. She wants to help others who have been in situations like hers.
Equally moving, Jesse Tovar — a Radio, Television and Film major—shared a documentary-style video he produced about his life. The vivid images tied to his voice over were so powerful it brought the crowd to its feet. His video ended with blank pages and the statement “I will not place anything here yet because my story has just begun.”
Funds from the brunch will go towards providing GED test vouchers, college scholarships, and bacterial meningitis vaccines for students in the GED to College Transition Program at SAC. For more information about the Empowerment Center, go to www.alamo.edu/sac/SWANS/.
Photo: Dr. Bruce Leslie, Dr. Helen Vera, Dr. Robert Vela and Jim Eskin.