Student Success Stories Tag

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!...

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...

Lifelong Learners Awards 2016

14 April in News

[caption id="attachment_21285" align="alignright" width="500"] Dr. Plutko, Dr. Dishno, Dr. Castrey, Lifelong Learners Tina, Roberto and Angie, Board Member Iverson, Principal Curiel[/caption] On Wednesday morning, April 13th, the Huntington Beach Adult School hosted its 2015-2016 Lifelong Learners Awards Breakfast.  Administrators, teachers and staff joined family and friends to recognize three exemplary students as this year's Lifelong Learners. Out of over 8,000 students, these Lifelong Learners were nominated by their instructors for their dedication, willingness to be selfless in class, and commitment to using their skills to help better the lives of others. As Principal Steve Curiel explained, "while many people struggle to find or make the time to better themselves through education," our Lifelong Learners "have overcome similar challenges and have succeeded." Each honoree was called up to accept an award from their instructor, and Principal Curiel shared their educational journeys. Growing up in Mexico, ESL student Angelica Reyes had to work full-time at age thirteen, and was only able to finish elementary school. When she came to the US, Angie was "motivated to learn English so she can support her daughter with her homework," and is now also enrolled in the GED study program. A working husband and father of three, Roberto Ruiz returned to school after 20 years to earn his Adult Diploma at HBAS. He thanked the teachers and staff at the Westminster Mall Learning Center, claiming that "they seem to work all the time." [caption id="attachment_21284" align="alignleft" width="500"] Our Lifelong Learners with their instructors and families.[/caption] Tina Olguin started out in the GED Program, and later moved on to the Pharmacy Technician Program. After using a variety of study methods (such as writing formulas and equations on the back of wrapping paper and covering her walls at home), Tina is now employed at Walgreens and told us, "I really love my job!" This is one of our favorite events of the year: a celebration of our students and the impacts they have in our school and community.  Thanks to all who came to honor our Lifelong Learners, especially HBUHSD Superintendent Dr. Gregory Plutko and Board Members Dr. Duane Dishno, Dr. Bonnie Castrey, and Kathleen Iverson. Learn more about our amazing Lifelong Learners by reading their Success Stories! See the Lifelong Learners Awards Album on Facebook!    – Briana Madden 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 opportunities with the community. ...

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...