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Student Success Story

Submitted By: Trudie Giordano, Mt. Diablo Adult Education – Project ACCESS
Consortium: Contra Costa Adult Education Consortium

Meet Hamida

Program Area(s): Career Technical Education , English as a Second Language & Citizenship

The Challenge

Hamida left Afghanistan in 2016 to reunite with her husband who had been in the U.S. for two
years already. She brought with her a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience working within the Afghan Parliament. Eager to begin working in the United States, Hamida promptly submitted her résumé to many employers. Given her experience, she expected to find a job quickly. But she didn’t. This left Hamida struggling with an overwhelming feeling of uselessness. “I was totally lost. I lost my identity I was really helpless, really scared,” Hamida says. “There was nobody to help me. There was nobody to guide me. Where do I start from? I had no idea.”

The Solution

Since her husband had taken ESL classes through Mt. Diablo Adult Education, he recommended Project ACCESS to Hamida. Project ACCESS provides training, career and other support services for non-native English speakers to work in early childhood education (ECE). Pregnant with their second child, Hamida found the practical parenting information valuable personally as well as scholastically. And more importantly, Project ACCESS gave her a renewed purpose in life. “I was a good student in the class. I found my identity somehow. I realized I’m intelligent. I can do something,” she says. “This all helped me to get out of depression.”

Outcomes

Hamida now has a newfound passion for working in the field of education. She recently earned her certificate of completion for Project ACCESS and will attend Diablo Valley College in the fall for two years. But her plans don’t stop there. Hamida is committed to pursuing these studies for life, culminating in a Ph.D. “It is my biggest dream in life,” she says.