Student Success Stories

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.  ...

Student Spotlight – Roberto Ruiz // Adult Diploma / Lifelong Learner

14 April in Student Success Stories

Roberto Ruiz was born in 
Chicago as a second-generation Puerto Rican. Growing up the oldest of eight children, Roberto always felt that he had to set a good 
example.  Now married with three children, Roberto manages a family while working and attending school. Without the foundation of a high school diploma, Roberto has had to earn success in his career through hard work and extra effort. A newly earned diploma from HBAS will help him gain opportunities and valuable workforce skills. When asked about obtaining his diploma, Roberto described the satisfaction of knowing that he could go back after more than 20 years to achieve one of the biggest accomplishments of his life. Roberto believes that no matter the age or circumstance, furthering one’s education can be accomplished. He instills this message in his children, to “aim high” at whatever it is: education, work, or sports.With his dedication and commitment to using his new skills to better the lives of those around him, Roberto truly is a Lifelong Learner....

Student Spotlight – Tina Olguin // Pharmacy Technician / Lifelong Learner

14 April in Student Success Stories

Aristotle once said, "the road to education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” Tina Olguin’s educational journey had bitter roots to start. It all began in 2007, fourteen years after what should have been her high school graduation.  Tina wanted that education and faced the challenge head-on by returning to earn her G.E.D. Diploma through the Huntington Beach Adult School. In the following years, Tina took notice of our Allied Health Programs.  In 2015, she went full steam ahead by enrolling in the Pharmacy Technician Program at HBAS. The math entrance exam was a steep hurdle, but Tina enrolled in the Allied Health Math Refresher Course and passed it with the guidance of Mrs. Suzanne Hammoud. [caption id="attachment_21289" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tina celebrates with Instructors Suzanne Hammoud and Pamela Canlas. [/caption] Tina's attitude towards learning had a positive impact in her Pharmacy Technician classes.  She completed the program with perfect attendance and earned a place on our honor roll. Determined to take full advantage of our externship program, she completed Beginning Word, Keyboarding, and Career Readiness to obtain the necessary workforce skills. Tina was hired three days into her externship at Walgreens, and earned a pay increase when she passed the Pharmacy Technician Certification National Board Exam. She now holds the sweet titles of Registered Pharmacy Technician and Certified Pharmacy Technician. Today, Tina says with enthusiasm that she “really loves her job.”  With her positive attitude, perseverance, and love of learning, Tina Olguin shows all that is possible as a Lifelong Learner.        ...

“Intention to Hire”: Pharmacy Tech Externships

24 July in News, Student Success Stories

At HBAS, Career Technical Education is all about job readiness. We find where the labor demand is, and tailor programs to help students fill that demand. One of our most recent success stories is found in the Pharmacy Tech Externship Program. [caption id="attachment_19324" align="alignleft" width="280"] Director Pamela Canlas with 2015 graduates[/caption] Since its launch in 2010, the HBAS Pharmacy Technician Program has offered vigorous coursework in all things “Pharm Tech,” with recently added components like Microsoft Word and Business Soft Skills. While national certification is not required for licensure in California, HBAS also prepares students to take the National Exam. To date, our program has a stellar pass rate of 96%! In September 2014, Program Director Pamela Canlas took Pharmacy Tech a step further by offering an externship to students who pass the national boards. As opposed to an internship completed during a program of study, an externship takes place after the program is completed. [caption id="attachment_19318" align="alignright" width="275"] Pharmacy Tech student Mariana Arteaga[/caption] I reached out to Ms. Canlas to find out more about the externship program. We met in her classroom to chat with Mariana Arteaga, a program graduate who had just finished a month-long externship with Walgreens. Mariana’s supervising pharmacist Dr. Eric Phan and store manager James Meyers also joined us to share their perspective. Mariana found HBAS after frustrating attempts to sign up for classes at community colleges. She enrolled in an accounting class at HBAS, and then heard about the Pharmacy Technician Program. She explained, “I read all the info on the website, and decided to give it a try to see if I liked it. And I did.” After completing the program and passing the National Board Exam, Mariana was eager to gain real world experience through the externship program. And at the Huntington Beach Walgreens (at Beach and Yorktown), Dr. Phan was eager to put Mariana to work! During her 120-hour externship, Dr. Phan was impressed with Mariana’s ability to learn quickly and retain information. “She showed that she had customer service skills and efficiency,” traits Dr. Phan considers essential for a pharmacy technician. In reflecting on her experience at Walgreens, Mariana credits the externship for “really making the program complete.” As for Walgreens, the externship program goes beyond simply educating future technicians. Dr. Phan explained, “We do externships with the intention to hire.” When Dr. Phan decides he wants to hire an extern, Store Manager James Meyer comes in to make that happen. Dr. Phan and Mr. Meyer offered Mariana a job, and look forward to bringing her on board as soon as her state license is processed. That’s what we like to see: our graduates in high demand! The need for new pharmacy technicians is growing steadily. Come to a...

Student Success Story - Shawny Espinoza

Student Success Story: Shawny Espinoza

21 October in Student Success Stories

I had actually attended Huntington Beach Adult School to finish up getting my diploma when I heard about the Pharmacy Technician Program. I chose Pharm Tech because it is a great career path and it opens so many doors into the medical field. Before HBAS I hated school, I've always loved to learn but I couldn't stand to not have a hands on interactive learning experience. At HBAS, with Mrs. Canlas as our teacher she always kept things interesting and fun. I really liked that Mrs. Canlas kept things hands on and she really made us as students feel comfortable, we knew we could come to her with any problem and she would help us without hesitation. Right now I am just enjoying some time off before I start the externship at Walgreens this November. I would recommend this program to anyone who is willing to work hard to obtain a career. HBAS was a whole new learning experience and the school has set such a high bar in the standards of education. -Shawny Espinoza...

Yen Thi Tran

21 April in Student Success Stories

YEN THI TRAN has been an ESL student for the last two academic years. Last year, when Yen enrolled in ESL class, Level 1, she spoke very few words in English. Today, at Level 2, Yen can speak and write English fairly well. She is well beyond a “Level 2” student and with her deter-mination there is no doubt that Yen will transi-tion to Level 3 and 4 in the future. Nothing stands in Yen’s way when it comes to attending English class. She is here every day. Last year, she got the class award for “Best At-tendance”. So far, this year too, she is the only candidate for this award. It is a mystery how this young mother can make it to class, on time, every single day. She has two children: one in 3rd grade and another in 4th grade at Schmitt School in the Westminster School District. Yen’s determination never to miss a single day of in-struction is what makes her a lifelong learner. She is committed to learning English and helping her two young children with their homework so that they do well in school. Someday, Yen wants to become an American Citizen and she is streamlining all her future goals for success. She knows that the Adult School can help her achieve these goals and she is doing all she can to be the best student ever....

Ana Maria Carvalho

11 April in Student Success Stories

ANA MARIA CARVALHO has taken classes in Brain Fitness and Mental Gymnastics at the Huntington Beach Adult School for a number of years. She first came to our school when she realized that she was having trouble with memory and communication. These issues were the result of recently recovering from cancer. While taking chemotherapy helped her successfully heal, it is known to cause cognitive impairment issues which she was experiencing. She would tell her friends when she had chemo that the resulting combination of “senior moments and chemo moments was a mess”. Added to the frustration when Ana Maria first started taking the classes was the fact that English is her second language, as she was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when she was 15 years old. It took some encouraging to help Ana Maria move beyond the frustration she felt in retraining her brain, but her determination and courage in revers-ing problems caused by the chemo have paid off. Ana Maria, as well as her family and friends, noticed a big change for the better in sharpness, concentration, memory, and focusing. We are fortunate to have motivated students such as Ana Maria in our school....

Hung Thi Than

28 March in Student Success Stories

HUNG THI THAN first enrolled in the ESL program, Level 1 class in the 2012-2013 aca-demic year. However, Hung was not able to attend class after De-cember, 2012 because she was accidentally struck by a car on her way to church and was homebound for the rest of that year. Hung kept in touch with us and we reciprocated. This academic year 2013-2014, Hung returned to class and she had improved her English skills. Well, you may ask, “How did that happen?” The an-swer is that Hung is a lifelong learner. She did not let the accident stop her from learn-ing English. She had the learning materials and she taught herself at home. She loves to sing, so she heard every song in the Audio Program of the assigned textbook over and over again. Hence when she returned this year, she tested higher and was assigned to a higher level: Level 2. Hung is a Vietnam War widow who was brought to the United States along with her four young sons about 4 decades ago. She was only 24 years old then. She single-handedly raised her four sons and she is very proud of them today because she says that they are all successful. She says that learn-ing English keeps her fit because she walks about half a mile to and from school. Hung’s fellow students regard her as a men-tor because she is always willing to help them cross the bridge from Vietnamese to English by helping the teacher reach students at the lower level with level-appropriate translation. She knows the needs of the Vietnamese stu-dents because long ago she walked in their shoes....

Valerie Dudley

20 March in Student Success Stories

VALERIE DUDLEY completed the entire Medical Assisting Program before it was downsized and completed all the Computer components required, as well as the Soft Skills Class. Because her company was downsizing, she found herself unemployed after many years devoted to corporate business. Although one door closed, another opened with the opportunity of starting a new career in healthcare as a Medical Assistant. She knew that making a successful career transition takes planning, time, money and education to acquire new skills. Valerie made her plan but time and money were in short supply. After investigating and reviewing the various educational programs available, she decided on the HBAS Medical Assisting Program. The program was low priced and could be completed in a relatively short time frame. The curriculum and quality training seemed relevant to the role of today’s Medical Assistant. She began the program in the Fall of 2012 and worked diligently through the courses accomplishing not only her completion certification but excelling in her work. She holds the record in several classes for achieving the highest scores on her testing. She not only completed the program but was the class Valedictorian at her graduation on January 31, 2014. She felt she was prepared and confident when interviewing, completed her externship and subsequently began working in a medical doctor’s office. We are all familiar with the phrase, knowledge is power, but Valerie believes it is more than just the education that has contributed to her new career. She feels that thanks should go out to her HBAS “family”; the excellent instructors, staff and her classmates. She truly is a success story....