Student Success Story
Submitted By: Michele Chapman, Vista Adult School
Consortium: Education to Career Network of North San Diego County (Palomar/Vista)
Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education
With little talk of higher education in his household, Juan dropped out of school in 10th grade at the age of 14. During this time, he experienced homelessness, gang initiation, incarceration and drug abuse. After ten years, he took the first step in turning his life around. With his focus on earning his high school diploma, Juan enrolled at Vista Adult School, one of five adult schools under Education to Career Network.
At Vista Adult School, teachers and staff worked with Juan so that he could succeed and get the most out of his education, which is something he had never experienced before. Student counselors helped Juan get into a behavioral modification program where he worked on past setbacks and started working toward his high school diploma. “I was able to talk to staff about my personal issues,” said Juan. “They really helped me focus on my goals and helped me overcome some of my prior problems, while always being supportive.”
Having never experienced a “normal” high school life, from proms to sports, he always felt left out. “My teachers became my second family,” said Juan. “They made me feel a part of something bigger for the first time in my life.”
After graduating from Vista Adult School Juan transferred to Palomar College where he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in sociology and psychology. He applied to eight universities, of which UC Berkeley has already offered him admission. “This is something I never fathomed,” Juan said. “And now I realize that Vista Adult School was my first stepping-stone to my educational journey. I will forever be grateful to everyone at Vista Adult School.”