A++ for Two Committed Educators

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Day! GOSO is fortunate to work with a number of committed educators who help our Guys achieve their academic goals. Today, we’re giving gold stars and A++ marks to Bill Garifal and Bert Ephraim, two teachers who lead our high-school equivalency (TASC) program, formerly known as the GED.

From their home base at GOSO‘s Education Center, which opened in January, Mr. Garifal — or Mr. G, as the students affectionately refer to him — and Mr. Ephraim connect students (a dozen for the current term) all pursuing admirable education goals.


“The teachers we have really go out of their way to support the students, especially with any personal issue they’re experiencing. They don’t just teach academics, but life skills and offer that extra emotional support.” – Lauren Bricker, GOSO Career Manager and Director of Education


Mr. G has long been committed to helping individuals in the criminal justice system achieve academically, having taught on Rikers Island for 10 years in the Rose M. Singer women’s correctional facility. “I enjoy the flexibility we have to tailor our curriculum to the students’ needs,” says Mr. G. “Also, the smaller size of the classes at GOSO is wonderful because it allows us to engage with students on a more personal level.” Likewise, Mr. Ephraim splits his time between GOSO and another NYC alternative school, helping as many students as he can.


“I like my teachers because they teach real-life stuff that other schools don’t teach – stuff I can actually use in my daily life. The other day we were talking about credit scores, and what good credit is. Not only did I learn about that, but I was also learning about percentages and other math skills. Understanding finances is really important for me, and I’m really grateful that my teacher uses examples that apply to the real-world.” – Aparicio, GOSO client


Educators working in collaboration with GOSO means that our Guys have access to educational opportunities essential to their journey of learning. We are so grateful for teachers, today and every day!