Graduation "a dream come true" for one special student


For most, high school graduation is a big deal and a rite of passage. For Grover Canseco-Citalan, it’s a dream come true…a dream he often thought might never happen. Thanks to his resilience and the dedication of his teachers, he doesn't just have his high school diploma, he now has hopes and dreams for a solid future.

Each year, Catholic Charities Adult Education program graduates of all ages and nationalities walk across the stage to celebrate their big accomplishments. Each one has a unique motivation and a unique story. Grover’s story is one that will inspire us all.

Settling into a new country takes time and determination. 56-year-old Grover reflected on his journey from Mexico to the United States and the obstacles he overcame to walk across the stage with his diploma. He had once been a professional soccer player in his home country and says his athletic mindset also helped him to get to where he is today.  

Adela and their children came to the United States after what Grover says seemed “like a lifetime.” Over time, they have all set educational goals to live the American dream. They discovered Catholic Charities Adult Education program and knew this was a place that could help.

"Grover has such a positive attitude,” says Fabiola Contreras, Adult Education staff member. “He is a great role model and a pleasure to have around.”

Fabiola came to the United States 15 years ago from Mexico, unable to speak English. Several years ago, she took English as a Second Language classes at our Tulsa location and now works in the same place she learned, helping students along their path.

Sister Catherine Martinez, Adult Education Site Coordinator, says that what is so special about Grover is that even after he passed his GED test, he continued coming to class, sitting by his wife's side, and encouraging her. "Adela still has some steps to take, but she will get there,” says Sister Catherine. “We are all very proud of her, too."

Sister Catherine says people like Grover and Adela make Adult Education exciting. "Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma's motto is Love Changing Lives,” she says. “Working with adults allows me to impact the students' lives daily. Walking with students as they journey through academic success for the first time is rewarding and meaningful."
Grover aspires to hone his English language skills and enroll in Tulsa Community College. Down the line, his goal is to become a physical therapist. He says all of this is possible thanks to the help and support of Catholic Charities.

To learn more about the Adult Education program, visit