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Student Success Story

Submitted By: Sherri Watkins, State Center Adult Education Consortium
Consortium: State Center Adult Education Consortium

Meet Crystal

Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education

The Challenge

Crystal Espinosa found that raising a baby as a teen while trying to finish high school and working part-time was not easy. She discovered that while learning who she was as a new mother was difficult, and it delayed her goal of graduating with her class. She regrets this but realizes that becoming a mother was life-changing.

She had to grow up quickly and become responsible. Crystal realized that making minimum wage wasn’t enough to provide for her family and decided to go to beauty college. She graduated when she was 20 and started a career as a stylist and also worked a second job to support her family. Still, she dreamed of earning her high school diploma and was determined to not give up.

Like many people, she has been through some difficult times: marriage at a young age, suffered from domestic violence for nearly 10 years, went through a divorce and lost family members, including her own child.

The Solution

Overcoming all of these things made her believe that going back to school and earning a diploma was something that she could accomplish. In 2017, she enrolled in Clovis Adult School and soon realized that she needed to adjust to multitasking and remain flexible while juggling school, work and family. She was determined, which gave her the motivation needed and didn’t allow anyone or anything to get in the way of her goal. Crystal faced difficult decisions but knew she needed to remain focused, more so than ever before.

Crystal states “the Clovis Adult School faculty and staff supported and encouraged me throughout this process. They have equipped me with the tools I need in order to be successful, not only in academics but in life.”

Outcomes

Crystal currently is attending Fresno City College and plans to transfer to Fresno State and pursue a special education teaching credential. Having a son who is in special education classes inspired her to work toward a degree in that field. She is looking forward to working with students in special education and becoming even more of an advocate for her son and the students she will serve.

She says “as I’ve attained my initial goal of earning my high school diploma, it’s now time to chase new goals. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Crystal was a class speaker at the Clovis Adult School’s 2018 graduation. She also is the recipient of the AT&T-Central California Women's Conference-TRIO scholarship. And she was recently hired as an instructional aide for the Special Education Department with Clovis Unified School District.