Pathway to graduation: a story of second chances & determination

Mr. Steven Perez had dropped out from Lincoln High School, was unmotivated to attend school and fell behind in credits. His school counselor at Lincoln told him about East L.A. Occupational Center (ELAOC) and he first enrolled in the regular adult program about 3 years ago. He completed some courses, but he started working and missed the deadline to re-enroll, so he gave up on school again.

One day he received a letter from Ms. Araceli Pelayo, Academic Teacher Adviser, encouraging him to come back to finish his requirements. Steven gave school another chance and enrolled in the Accelerated College and Career Transition program at ELAOC.

The ACCT program seemed to be a better fit because of the flexible schedule and the access to the HiSET prep software which helped him prepare for the high school equivalency exam. This time around, Steven’s motivation and commitment to his education was solid. Through his hard work and commitment, he earned a $150 scholarship (merit award) that paid for his HiSET exam, which he passed the first time.

The scholarship was important to him because even though he had a full time job, he didn’t earn enough money to pay for extra expenses. Steven works in a factory from 2pm to 10pm to help his family financially. He says, “many times it was hard to get up in the morning to come to school, but I pushed myself to make it happen.” Respectively, the ACCT program motto is “making things happen”.

After attending the first graduation meeting at ELAOC, he is considering continuing his education by enrolling in a community college or a vocational school because he doesn’t see himself working in a factory the rest of his life. He is interested in being an electrician or doing something related to the computer field. Congratulations Steven!

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