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Kirkland Beeler-Zuniga - Adult Basic Education

Athlete tackles HSE exam; scores high school diploma and college football jersey.

THEN: After tearing the ligaments in his knee, high school junior Kirkland Beeler-Zuniga missed a lot of school -- so much school that his teachers failed him. Frustrated with the system, he dropped out. Eventually Kirkland decided to give school another try and pursue his high school equivalency diploma. He signed up for the adult basic education program at Meridian Technology Center and worked hard for about two months before he earned his diploma.

Kirkland was the first high school graduate on his dad’s side of the family, and he said his success motivated his sister to stay in school.

“She’s very competitive,” he said. “She was wanting to quit school, but after I got my diploma, she wanted hers.”

Kirkland said he got more than just his diploma through CareerTech’s ABE program. Having that diploma also gave him

  • Confidence and a feeling of accomplishment.
  • The opportunity to go to college.
  • A chance to play college football for the Langston University Lions.

“I dreamed about going to college,” he said, “but I didn’t think I was smart enough. The teachers in the ABE program encouraged me to get through it and showed me opportunities for different careers.”

NOW: A student at Langston University, majoring in business finance and business management, with a minor in psychology. Kirkland plays left guard for Langston University and may have an opportunity to join the New York Jets’ summer football camp in 2019.

After getting his bachelor’s degree, Kirkland said he would eventually like to continue his education and earn his master’s degree. He wants to be involved in the football industry and is interested in business franchising and real estate.


“The ABE teachers at Meridian are understanding, and they will help you learn what you need to know to pass the HSE exam.”

Kirkland Beeler-Zuniga

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