The Texas Education Association (TEA) reports Kingsville ISD’s dropout rates are higher than the state or regional average. The TEA reports 84% of Kingsville students graduated or earned a GED in 2021, compared to the state average of 94%.
So, the HMK Care program was born, and students said its providing a much needed option from traditional school.
“I wouldn’t come back because I be stressing and I wouldn’t be able to work or nothing, so I (was) kind of like 'What was the point of being there if I cannot work,'” Alaze Gonzalez, a student in the program said.
Gonzalez is but one student taking part in the program. Ode Moreno, the administrator for the program, said they work with the students schedule because some may have jobs or kids.
“They have all of their classes online and the beauty of this program is you can come to CARE and get your classes done online but you can also do your classes at home,” Moreno said.
Superintendent Cissy Reynolds Perez told us students quit school because they felt overwhelmed or like no one was paying attention to what they wanted to do with their lives.
“For the past two years what we’ve been doing is making sure we are improving the academics of Kingsville ISD but also reaching out to those students who did drop out and bringing them back,” Perez said.
The HMK Care program which stands for commit, attain, rise, and excel has 25 students working to get back on track. It helps students who have dropped out of school, or don’t work well in traditional high school settings.
“Ever since being in here I am able to graduate a year early,” Ruiz said.
Emily Ruiz is a senior and said the program has a huge support system, making schoolwork easier.
“And it’s helped me balance schoolwork and my own personal challenges,” Ruiz said.
Dr. Perez said they celebrate the students graduating but also planning for their future by partnering with colleges such as Texas A&M University Kingsville.
“We’ve also partnered with Coastal Bend College and Del Mar to see ok what is a pathway they can have once they’ve completed their diploma,” Perez said.
“I am graduating a year early, so that helps a lot because after I graduate, I want to move to Corpus and go to school for cosmetology,” Gonzalez said.
If you are interested in the program click here.