Mexican Consulate Leaders Praise MTC’s Taft Facility for its Commitment to Education
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Maria Fernanda Camara proudly presents the names of graduates at MTC’s Taft Correctional Institution in California. Maria is with the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno.
These graduates are receiving their INEA certificates, which is equivalent to the American GED.
“It’s giving our fellow citizens other opportunities,” says Maria. “It’s to help them understand the benefits of obtaining their primary or secondary education.”
The INEA program is possible because of a strong partnership between the Mexican Consulate and Taft.
“And here, fortunately at Taft, over the last several years, we’ve had a lot of support from the leaders at the prison,” adds Maria.
“For me, it’s very satisfying to see these students determined to receive their certifications,” says Virginia Friend who’s the INEA coordinator at the Taft facility. Forty-five men were recognized at the most recent graduation, and Virginia says this education will go a long way in their lives.
“The students who have not finished their primary or secondary education, that they can receive their certification so that when they go to Mexico, they can get better jobs.”
Several of the students also help as tutors. They’re grateful for the opportunity to further their education. This is what they said:
“We’re improving our education so that we can move forward and better ourselves, despite being in this situation.”
Guillermo Bauman, Tutor
“To be able to continue improving ourselves and get experience so that we can work.”
Jaime Lucero, Tutor
“For me, I’m proud to be here teaching students in this institution. It’s a big satisfaction.”
Donad Manuz is the associate warden of programs at Taft. He says,
“This is a positive step for them to continue their education and improve their lives upon re-entry.”
Education Director Sean McLean agrees.
“What I like about the INEA program is that it gives them an opportunity to complete a level of education, whether it’s primary or secondary, that they may not have had the opportunity to attend or even finish back in their home countries.”