Six women graduate from DeNeuville Learning Center

DeNeuville Learning Center (DLC) is a Good Shepherd ministry that empowers women in Memphis. Most of the women who come here are recent immigrants. They come to DeNeuville to learn English and obtain a high school equivalency certificate. They also go to the learning center to understand the American way of life. This includes how to manage a bank account.

When the women finish their course of study at DeNeuville Learning Center, they graduate. Six women earned their High School Equivalency when they graduated from DeNeuville Learning Center on December 14, 2017. The graduates were Piedad Castillo, Adriana Dominguez, Sandra Pita, Araceli Salgado, Ermelinda Ulloa and Maria Villazana.

DeNeuville Learning Center uplifts and inspires women

“The graduation event was incredibly uplifting and inspiring. It does something good to the heart to see dedicated, hard-working women achieve their dreams,” said Sr. Madeleine Munday, who gave special remarks at the graduation ceremony. Sr. Madeleine is Province Leader for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America (PMNA). Sisters Mary Catherine Massei and Nora Pat O’Flannigan also represented PMNA at the graduation event.

In addition to recognizing the six women who received their high school equivalency, DLC also recognized women for obtaining U.S. citizenship. DLC also recognized the women who had completed levels in English as a Second Language, and those who had finished coursework in Sewing and Computer Studies.

Nahed Ghadri, Blanca Hendricks and Aicha Tchalim obtained U.S. Citizenship. Amanni Al Omari earned Level 1 Completion of English as a Second Language (ESL). Olga Carvajal earned Level 2 Completion of ESL, and nine women completed Level 3 ESL. They were Maria Aguilar, Muneera Al Hajjaji, Sondos Aridhi, Erika Escobar, Linda Garcia, Gissys Gonzalez, Sarvia Morales, Coumba Niang and Araceli Salgado.

Five women received certificates in Computer Studies: Yasmin Cortes, Areli Rayo, Araceli Salgado, Geannie Valentine and Degane Wais. Four women received certificates in Sewing; Sharon McBride, Kadi Sillah, Omu Sillah and Geannie Valentine.

Natalia Garcia, an alumna of DeNeuville Learning Center who now serves as HiSET/GED Instructor at the center, inspired the graduates when she addressed them in a formal presentation and told her story of reaching for and achieving her dreams.

“We are so very, very proud of these women,” said Sr. Nora Pat.

The next classes at DeNeuville Learning Center start on January 16, 2018. Students will graduate in June. Learn more about the Good Shepherd ministry at

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Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website