Student Success Stories

2017 Pinning Ceremony: Career Programs

26 June in News, Student Success Stories

On June 15, 2017, Huntington Beach Adult School held a pinning ceremony to mark the passage of our Career Tech students into the professional world. These students recently completed their studies, took their certification exams and are putting their learning into practice in new careers.  Many of our students are hired directly out of their program, often with help from the HBAS College and Career Center. Thanks to the HBAS faculty and staff, HBUHSD Board Members and family and friends who gathered to celebrate our graduates.  We are proud of their accomplishments and excited to see where their bright futures lead. See more photos in the CTE Pinning Ceremony Photo Album! 2017 CTE Classes: The Medical Assisting Certificate Program prepares students for work in a variety of health care settings.  Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform traditional medical assisting responsibilities including administration and clinical duties and to function as contributing members of the health care team.  The 2017 Medical Assisting class included: Jackie Nguyen, Kim Flores, Tam Nguyen, Giao Nguyen, Taihua Ho, Erica Gonzalez, Candace Harmon, and Deirdre Downey. The Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program equips students with skills to prepare insurance and billing forms for patients and insurance companies. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Exam of Certified Medical Coding Specialist (CBMCS) for certification. The 2017 Medical Billing and Coding Program class included: Diana Moore, Autumn Carley-Givant, Tyler Morgan, Dori Billstrom, Dolores Becerra and Mizelene Asilo. The Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to help provide medication and other health care products to patients and consumers.  Students are eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board after completing the Pharmacy Technician courses.  The 2017 Pharmacy Technician Program class included: Andrea Pettett, Jerod Frey, Chandra Zechmeister, Steven Duarte, Cynthia Garcia and Laurie Herbert. HBAS has had an Administrative Office Assistant certificate program for the past 7 years.  Students take several classes to gain a step up in the labor market.  These classes include Microsoft Office classes at both the beginning and intermediate level as well as accounting and QuickBooks classes.  This is our first year including our student completers in the pinning ceremony.  Congratulations to our first pin recipient for Administrative Assistant, Windy Yau....

Lifelong Learner Awards – 2017

04 April in News, Student Success Stories, Uncategorized

“Adult Education students achieve tremendous growth in learning while facing various personal obstacles. They often proceed to more challenging levels as they achieve their initial goals and discover new interests and set new goals.  Their desire to learn continues to grow and they continue to overcome life’s challenges. These students become models of Lifelong Learning for all of us, young and not so young.”    -  Principal Steve Curiel [caption id="attachment_24382" align="alignright" width="450"] Our 2017 Lifelong Learners (front row), with HBUHSD Board Members Dr. Dishno & Dr. Simon, Superintendent Dr. Harwick, and HBAS Principal Curiel (back row).[/caption] With these words, Principal Steve Curiel kicked off our 2017 Lifelong Learner Awards on Thursday, March 30th. This annual event is a special opportunity to honor some of our most dedicated and motivated students. Each year, HBAS educators are asked to nominate students who stand out as lifelong learners.  At this year’s awards ceremony, we honored six HBAS students from our Diploma/GED, Personal Enrichment and Career Technical Education programs. While our 2017 Lifelong Learners come from diverse backgrounds and educational paths, they all inspire the teachers, support staff, and fellow students they meet along the way. Thanks to HBUHSD Superintendent Dr. Harwick and Board Members Dr. Dishno and Dr. Simon for joining HBAS to celebrate our Lifelong Learners. Thanks to the HBAS teachers who nominated their students, and to the staff members who coordinated the event. And thanks most of all to our amazing 2017 award recipients: Cynthia Aquino Garcia - GED Briana Johnson - High School Diploma Ida Rodriguez - Digital Media Arts Ruth Lopez - ESL Chanh Phan - ESL Sherry Mancini - Pharmacy Technician   Our faculty and staff are proud to serve these students year-round, and to recognize their accomplishments at the Lifelong Learner Awards.  Please feel free to get inspired: click on each Lifelong Learner’s name to read their story! – Briana Valadao is a teacher and “field reporter” for the HB Adult School.  She meets with staff and students to learn about the programs offered and share stories and new opportunities with the community. ...

Cynthia Garcia Aquino – 2017 Lifelong Learner Award Recipient

03 April in Student Success Stories

Cynthia Garcia Aquino came to the United States in 2014, having attended 3 years of high school in her native country of the Philippines. After being turned down by employers a number of times due to her lack of a high school diploma or GED, she had just about given up on finding a job. Fortunately, Cynthia happened to walk by the Huntington Beach Adult School Learning Center while shopping at the Westminster Mall. The signage about a “second chance” was the right message at the right time. Cynthia began the GED Program in November, 2014, and passed the exams in June of 2016--all while raising three children and dealing with health issues. After completing her GED, Cynthia was encouraged and supported to continue on with career training classes at HBAS. She took Career Readiness Skills and Keyboarding, as well as Electronic Health Records and Beginning Word.  These courses prepared her for the Pharmacy Technician program, which she is expected to complete in May of 2017. We have little doubt that Cynthia will be working in a local pharmacy by June. Since coming to HBAS, Cynthia's can-do attitude has been an inspiration to her fellow students and staff alike.  “She is extremely dedicated and works tirelessly to achieve all that she sets out to do.  Cynthia is always eager to tackle the next project, and to encourage her fellow students to continue when things get tough.” says Keith Meginley, her GED instructor.  Good luck in your new career, Cynthia!...

Ida Rodriguez – 2017 Lifelong Learner Award Recipient

03 April in Student Success Stories

Fourteen years ago, Ida Rodriguez realized that if she didn’t learn to use a computer, she would be left behind in the world of technology. She bought a computer with all the bells and whistles, but had no idea how to use the programs. Ida set out to look for classes and came across the Huntington Beach Adult School. Ida was impressed with the quality of the classes: every student had a new computer to learn on, and every teacher was patient, thorough, and gave well-written, step-by-step handouts. The real fun began when Ida started taking Photoshop Elements classes 12 years ago. After starting with Adobe Photoshop 2, she is currently working with version 15. Ida credits Nami Aoyagi as an amazing teacher, who is creative and knowledgeable and always brings new ideas to the class. For the past 10 years, Ida has enrolled in the Tuesday-Thursday 8:30am class--no matter what the topic. Ida feels it is a continuing learning process. She often refers to her classes as "therapy."  Ida has made many friends who have been taking classes as long as she has. She looks forward to attending more classes and learning many new techniques. Today, Ida is a corporate chef for a produce company. She has written hundreds of recipes and  six cookbooks, all made possible with the programs she learned in various HBAS classes. Congratulations, Ida Rodriguez!  ...

Chanh Phan – 2017 Lifelong Learner Award Recipient

03 April in Student Success Stories, Uncategorized

Chanh Phan came to the United States 10 years ago, with her husband.  When her husband became ill with cancer, Chanh took on the responsibilities of caring for her husband and finding a job to support her family.  Her husband succumbed to cancer one year ago. While Chanh has always had the desire to become proficient in English, she is now especially motivated as a single parent. She wants to get a better job to help support her three school-age children.  Chanh believes learning English would increase both hers and her children’s chances for a better future. [caption id="attachment_24355" align="alignleft" width="300"] Chanh Phan with Assistant Principal Susan Torres[/caption] Chanh has been a real pleasure to have in class.  She is a kind lady who, despite her obstacles, is always upbeat. Although Chanh’s grades may not be the highest in the class, she keeps coming back with that same determination and focus she had when first walking into the class last September. Chanh’s teacher, Rebecca Spohr, is “impressed with her drive to succeed and to learn English despite all the challenges she faces.” We have no doubt Chanh will continue to thrive in ESL and beyond! ...

Briana Johnson – 2017 Lifelong Learner Award Recipient

03 April in Student Success Stories

Briana Johnson enrolled in the Huntington Beach Adult School diploma program in 2013, needing 51 credits to graduate. After spending several years in the foster youth program, Briana had to withdraw from her Arizona high school and move to California. What some would call a devastating circumstance, Briana called an opportunity. Briana enrolled at the adult school and completed her credits in 2 years.       In June 2015, Briana received the Simon Youth Foundation Scholarship, paying her full tuition at Cerritos College.  As a Cerritos College student, she has already received two additional scholarships from the Cerritos College Foundation. [caption id="attachment_24363" align="alignleft" width="300"] Briana with Counselor Cynthia Bonnycastle and Diploma Teacher Teri Friend[/caption] Every semester since transitioning to the college, Briana has attended full-time, taking between 18-24 units. In addition to the demanding academic schedule, Briana is currently participating in COPE Health Scholar Program, a 280-hour certificate program designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in health care. Briana is an inspiration to all. Her compassion for others and her determination remind us that our future is not determined by our past. The Huntington Beach Adult School is excited to have Briana speak at our 2017 graduation, encouraging our graduates to aim high and follow their dreams.  Best of luck on your career path, Briana! ...

Sherry Mancini – 2017 Lifelong Learner Award Recipient

03 April in Student Success Stories

Sherry Mancini was a successful real estate professional for several years.  She actively served in the local, state and national leadership of professional and civic organizations to promote the professional advancement and economic opportunities for all members of our diverse community. Sherry decided she wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare service field, where she could translate that same passion and desire to serve others.  She enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program at HBAS.  [caption id="attachment_24369" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pharmacy Technician Instructor introduces Sherry Mancini.[/caption] Sherry's passion for knowledge allowed her to excel in her classes, which not only included the required Pharmacy classes but also Sterile Compounding, Electronic Health Records and now QuickBooks and Accounting courses.  Her business knowledge, gained from 36 years of owning and operating her own business, administrative skills, leadership ability and social skills, have all enhanced her ability to be efficient and effective as a pharmacy technician.  Congratulations, Sherry Mancini!...

Ruth Lopez – 2017 Lifelong Learner Award Recipient

03 April in Student Success Stories, Uncategorized

[caption id="attachment_24374" align="alignright" width="300"] Ruth Lopez with ESL/Math Teacher Suzanne Hammoud and Principal Steve Curiel[/caption] Ms. Ruth Lopez is an ESL student of over two years, and is also enrolled in Suzanne Hammoud’s Math Refresher course.  These classes run back-to-back for six consecutive hours twice a week for Math, and four times a week for ESL.   A survivor of many life challenges, Ruth is unique in her tenacity for studying, and in her ability to juggle two jobs, two classes at our school, and a catalog business. She meets her financial challenges head-on as she travels to Washington, D.C. to see her son and daughter.  And between her many commitments, she still attends classes every day. Despite her trials in life, Ruth never gives in and never complains about her predicaments; instead, she always wears a smile and befriends classmates with a positive disposition. As teacher Ms Hammound explains, "this individual simply perseveres." Ruth aspires to pursue a GED Certificate upon completion of the ESL program.  Ultimately, she desires a career in Medical Assisting or a related field.  We wish Ruth all the best in her bright future! ...

You’re Hired! – Student Support Services Update

16 December in News, Student Success Stories

[caption id="attachment_23229" align="alignright" width="150"] Anongnat Suebsak - Pharmacy Technician[/caption] At HBAS, we seek first and foremost to help students transition from our programs into jobs and/or post-secondary education. Teachers are working diligently to understand what is expected from employers and post-secondary institutions so that they can make sure students are well-prepared for their next step in their journey. [caption id="attachment_23227" align="alignleft" width="150"] Jason Roth - HS Diploma[/caption] As a core part of our work in the Coast Adult Education Consortium, we have invested in additional student support staff, and opened the College and Career Center at our Gothard campus. We are also developing new approaches to enrolling and supporting students throughout their time at HBAS. These new approaches will focus on the development of job readiness skills, often referred to as “soft skills,” while acquiring their academic and vocational skills. [caption id="attachment_23226" align="alignright" width="150"] Zoe Garcia - Pharmacy Technician[/caption] With all these efforts underway, it is always exciting to hear when our efforts bear fruit. Recently, we were happy to hear that four of our students were hired right after completing their training with us: Anongnat Suebsak, a former ESL student who also completed our Pharmacy Technician program, was hired at Walgreens in Huntington Beach. Diana Moore is working in the field as a Medical Biller with Pacific Medical Lab in Irvine. Jason Roth, who is currently working on his high school diploma and close to finishing, was hired at California Closets. Zoe Garcia, a Pharmacy Technician student, was hired by Telenet RX in Yorba Linda.   [caption id="attachment_23230" align="alignleft" width="150"] Diana Moore - Medical Billing[/caption] These student successes represent a number of similar success stories that are happening more and more often at HBAS. This brings great joy to me and my staff. As we bid farewell to 2016, we look forward to another year of helping our students reach their goals at HBAS…and beyond! Steve Curiel HBAS Principal...

Student Spotlight – Angelica Reyes // ESL / Lifelong Learner

14 April in Student Success Stories

Throughout her life, Angelica Reyes has independently 
developed her educational 
skills. Facing harsh economic conditions during childhood in Mexico, Angie was only able to complete elementary school. At thirteen, she
 started working full-time in the agricultural sector. Angie’s financial contribution helped her father purchase a house and her younger sister complete high school and attend university. Ms. Reyes came to the United States in 2002. She worked in a factory to support her extended family back in Mexico. In addition to working two jobs, Angelica quickly decided to enroll at HBAS to improve her English. She got married and had a baby girl.  Angelica is motivated to learn English so that she can help her daughter with her homework. ESL Instructor John Miranda describes Angelica as “a leader within my class.”  She has been awarded for good attendance, and taken initiative to help her classmates. Angelica has also enrolled into the GED study program, to learn academic information she has longed for since childhood. And for the future? She has dreams of learning computer science to obtain a career in fixing computers. With a determination to help her child succeed through her own self-development, Angelica Reyes has become an inspirational Lifelong Learner.  ...