TYLER, Texas — Taking high school courses can be tough. Algebra. Social Studies. Biology.

Imagine learning these subjects when you are not a native English speaker. That was the experience of Maria Palacio.

"I have always wanted to go to school since I was a little girl but whenever I was in Mexico, I was unable to," Palacio, a student at the Literacy Council of Tyler, said. 

Palacio moved to the U.S. about 19 years ago. She enrolled at the Literacy Council to learn English.

"I have always wanted to go to school since I was a little girl," Palacio said. "But whenever I was in Mexico, I was unable to."

She did not stop with English classes, Maria continued on to get her GED. 

"In the beginning, she was very shy but she always showed up and she worked very hard," Maria's teacher and GED supervisor Richard Roper said.

In order to obtain your GED, you have to pass four subject tests in math, science, social studies and language arts. 

"I have many goals," Palacio said. "I want to go to college after this. So GED basically it's just the beginning."

Thursday night, Maria Palacio walked across the stage with her fellow Literacy Council of Tyler graduates.