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Adult Learners Honored and Celebrated at ACSA’s 2015 Leadership Summit

Posted on 11/12/2015

Ruben Chacon

The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) 2015 Leadership Summit took place in Sacramento, November 5-6. One of the highlights was a luncheon honoring ACSA’s Every Student Succeeding award recipients. The program, which has been in existence for nearly two decades, recognizes students who have overcome obstacles to succeed in school, as well as the educational team supporting them. This year, thanks to a generous donation from Indoor Environmental Services, each student received a $1,000 scholarship.

ACSA Executive Director Wes Smith co-hosted the Awards Ceremony with Stefanie Cruz, evening anchor at Fox40 in Sacramento. Smith said "there is nothing more rewarding than hearing the success stories in our schools".

“Think about the students you’ve helped,” Smith said. “Today, we honor these students, but we also honor you and the work you’ve done.” Two adult learners were honored along with K-12 students from 19 regions.

Ruben Chacon attended the Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education Program to raise his reading and writing level. He has severe cerebral palsy and communicates with a voice simulator. Even though he has a disability he has not let that stop him. Ruben has earned two AA degrees in Business Management and Real Estate, as well as doing income tax preparation, owning a candy business, and being a docent for the Los Angeles Fair in the Fine Arts Museum. His greatest gift has been getting the adult education students to accept severely handicapped individuals. After successfully completing his educational goals, he is actively pursuing job opportunities.

Crystal Montero

Growing up in a poor family, Crystal Montero never had the opportunity to go to school. As a transgender child she was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. After becoming a monk she came to the United States in 1981 in search of better opportunities, a better life, and freedom. With her dedication and hard work she completed a Business Communications and Job Preparation course at the Berkeley Adult School. ESL classes helped improve her English speaking, reading, and writing skills. These attributes will serve her well as she pursues a college education and being a voice for the LGBTQI communities.

Since the 150th anniversary, California adult education system has served anywhere between 1.2 million in state funded programs in 2007-2008 and 305 000 in federally funded programs in 2013-2014. OTAN’s The California Adult Education Students Succeed program identifies learners who have reached their life goals as a result of their participation in the adult education system. The project disseminates the stories of these former students and the exemplary programs that assisted them.

Sources:

ACSA News

Adult Education Students Succeed