Read their stories and learn about their courage, drive and commitment.
Nurunnahar is a housewife and comes from Bangladesh. She wants to learn English to help her children’s education and see them succeed in this country. Her dream is to go to college and become a graphics and web designer—learning English is her first step to that goal.
Israel studies English at night after a long day at his job as a construction worker. He says his class is very important for him to move toward his goals of getting a diploma and becoming a manager.
Angelica is from Mexico and has 3 children. She wants to learn English to help her children and to help people at school. She would love to get a job as a teacher. She says, “Before I didn’t understand a lot. Now I feel good. I have more confidence.”
Carmen, from Mexico, would like to be a nurse assistant. But first she wants to get her GED. Her ESL class has helped her to speak with her children’s teacher, make appointments by herself and assist people who can’t speak any English. She says, “I feel so confident.”
Leticia is very interested in learning English so she can motivate her two children. Her next step is to get her GED and then get a job that will give her time to be with her children. She says, “Before I couldn’t understand; now I read and understand. I have a good teacher and more friends. I am comfortable in class and I have more security.” She is from Mexico.
Miguel is a young father. He works his construction job in the day and comes to school at night. He needs to learn English because his boss and co-workers speak English. He knows learning English will help him move up to a better job in construction.
Saul is Peruvian. He has studied at PAEC for 1 ½ years and now comes to classes in the morning and at night. He is a caregiver but envisions a future as a dentist. He writes, “I now can speak and understand English with my co-workers, friends, family, stores and companies much better. I appreciate this school in helping me to get into a college or university.”
Olga has the challenge of being a mother to 2 children, working as a caregiver and attending school. She wants to learn English to help her children in school and to be an example to them by getting her high school diploma. Getting a better job and becoming a citizen of the US are also her dream. She is from Columbia.
Ana is from Puerto Vallarta and currently works in a restaurant as a hostess and cashier. Her career goal is to become a teacher. She says, “This school helps me feel good when I write a letter and have a conversation with other people.”
Sam Griffin: His inspiring 2016 Graduation Speech
My name is Sam Griffin. I am proud and honored to stand up before you as the Speaker for the graduating class of 2016 at the age of 67
I have been attending Pittsburg Adult Education Center since September 2012. I dropped out of high school in 1967 because my family needed money and I needed to make a living. I retired with 27 years with a full career in computerized Numerical Controls with the purpose of manufactuing and programming medical parts for hospitals.
You may be wondering why I came back to school to get my high school diploma after retiring and earning a pension. You have to remember when I was a young man, experience got me jobs but not my education. However, the 21st century learner is now required to have both a diploma, experience and higher education in most cases.
Coming to Pittsburg Adult Education Center was at first to get tutoring in Mathematics so I could help my granddaughter achieve better grades in Algebra while she was attending high school. After a year, I realized I was getting extremely good at Algebra. At this point, I realized that I couldn't encourage my granddaughter and my own family to continue their education if I never completed mine. To prove to my family the importance of getting a high school diploma, I took 13 classes in the last 2 years to earn my diploma. I want my family and fellow graduates to know that if I could go back to school to earn a diploma after 48 years, then I believe the opportunity is out there for anyone.
If you really want to achieve something great in your life, you should go for it and not let anyone stop you for reaching your greatest potential.