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Hard work and determination pay off for Edna mom


May 14, 2010 at 12:14 a.m.

Melissa Hasdorff prepares to walk across stage at the Texas Vocational Schools graduation on Friday. Hasdorff, who completed her program last year, took part in the annual graduation ceremony.

Melissa Hasdorff has always been interested in pursuing a career in the medical field.

The 26-year-old was one of 35 graduates of the Texas Vocational Schools on Friday.

"It went by really fast, I was surprised," said Hasdorff of her 7-month course.

The school, which provides several other programs, is intense, said Linda Simmons, director of Texas Vocational Schools.

"Our classes are college level courses, it's not for everybody," said Simmons.

Hasdorff recalled beginning the course with 15 classmates before dropping to five.

"You have to buckle down and do what you're suppose to because if you don't, you won't make it," said Hasdorff who found support in friends and family.

She moved in with her mom.

"It's not easy, especially with a child, but we have made it through," said Sandra Liska, mom of Hasdorff.

The single mom found motivation in her then 5 year-old daughter, Kaylin Valdez.

"We would sit together and do homework," said Hasdorff, who completed her course in July.

Simmons asked Hasdorff to be one of the commencement speakers, which also included Deborah Branch, assistant district attorney and former student Stephanie Bluhm.

"I knew she had a little bit of hard time and she is a success," said Simmons.

Hasdorff was able to find a job in her profession with Better Life Bariatrics.

"This is what I wanted to do," said Hasdorff.

She was always very attentive, said Victoria Hollier, teacher at Texas Vocation Schools.

The 26-year-old hopes to continue her education.

"It never hurts to learn a little bit more," said Hasdorff.



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