Students Succeed California Adult Education honored three successful adult education students at the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) conference
on September 26 -27, 2008 in Sacramento.The honorees were selected for the ways in which they represent the long-term benefits of adult education. Though they completed their studies many years ago, these former students remain committed to adult education.
Rigoberto Alvarado left his home country of El Salvador in 1991 in search of opportunities in the United States. With the help of friends and family, he found Neighborhood Centers Adult School with Oakland Adult & Career Education (OACE). He started learning English and found work he enjoyed in the hospitality industry. But he quickly realized he needed more skills in order to advance, so he returned to Neighborhood Centers Adult School to learn about computers and computer applications. Through hard work and dedication to his education, Mr. Alvarado advanced through the ranks to become banquet manager at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. He now hires and supervises many employees, manages costs and inventories, and strives to create a positive employee work environment. “Oakland Adult & Career Education gave me an opportunity to make my dream come true,” he says.
Linda Bailey has come full circle in adult education, from getting her GED as a young high school drop out to returning to adult education as a vocational instructor. After Ms. Bailey earned her GED from Vallejo Adult School, she found work in the healthcare field and discovered she loved it. She returned to Vallejo Adult School to take Home Health Aide classes. This program helped her on her way to a 30-year career in nursing, which has included finishing her licensed vocational nurse training at Simi Valley Adult School. While working as a charge nurse for Mariposa Nursing Home in Fairfield, she returned yet again to adult education, this time as a vocational instructor in Fairfield Adult School’s Certified Nursing Assistant Program. Ms. Bailey overcame many obstacles to continue her education including an abusive marriage and work-related injuries. She continues to persevere as she works toward a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Vocational Education through California State University, Sacramento.
As a single, widowed, parent in Juchipila Zacatacas, Mexico, Carmen Navarro knew she needed to find better circumstances for herself and her two-year-old son. Her father had taught her that education was the best way to prepare for any of life’s circumstances, so she immigrated to the United States and settled in Union City, California. Soon she met a man who would become her second husband and began to build a new life with him. Through her dedication to her children, and her own realization that she needed to learn English for any future advancement, Ms. Navarro began ESL classes at New Haven Adult School and then went on to earn her GED. While maintaining a home, helping her husband run the family business, caring for two growing boys, and working part-time, she went on not only to earn her Adult Education Teaching Credential, but also to complete her Associate of Arts degree and her Bachelor of Arts degree. She continues to give back to the Adult Education community through her dedication as a computer skills instructor at New Haven Adult School, where she inspires ESL students to achieve their most ambitious goals; just as she did.