HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – It was a day for students at HCISD’s Transition Academy as it celebrated its first class to receive vocational certificates from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Throughout the year special needs students learn life skills like preparing for a job and also training for interviews.

Nancy Valverde is one of the proud parents and says seeing her daughter Loren earn this accomplishment means the world to her.

“It feels so good because I know highlighting her makes her feel good, it makes her feel that confidence that she needs,” Valverde said.

Employment Specialist Brenda Gregarey spent the entire school year training these students to get the job they want. Gregarey tells ValleyCentral that seeing these students be successful has an impact.

“They do learn so much yet when I walk away, I have learned so much from them,” Gregarey said. “Some of those things I learned from them is their optimism they are so optimistic.”

The Transition Academy plans to continue its partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission and expand this vocational program to more students.