Fulfilling a need for others

November 4, 2019
Although he came from Mexico with a high school diploma and had attended university, Jesus Lopez-Varela was at a disadvantage when he arrived in California because his English language skills were lacking. He began working two jobs, but he soon realized he needed ESL classes. After completing ESL, he applied for a tutoring job at Oxnard Adult School. He needed to get his GED; once he did that, he decided to get his high school diploma through OAS’s Options Program. As a Migrant tutor, he helped others work toward their diplomas, while continuing his part-time jobs. OAS saw the potential in Jesus and offered him a full-time guidance technician position, helping more students pursue their educational goals. After a few years, Jesus decided to take classes at Oxnard College. He was an outstanding student, so OAS supported him in finishing his degree. Jesus graduated with a bachelor’s in Spanish from CSU Channel Islands. He wanted to become a teacher, so he found a part-time teaching credential program. While working on his credential, he saw the need for a Spanish language GED/HSE prep class. He approached OAS with his plan and was given approval once he earned his credential. He has been teaching this class since its inception and has helped students earn their HSE certificate. Jesus was awarded the Classified Person of the Year from Oxnard Union High School District in 2015. He continues to promote OAS classes at local fairs, neighborhood meetings, and swap meets.
Adult Education Every Student Succeeding recipients are selected with the help of the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network for Adult Educators. Jesus Lopez-Varela from Oxnard Adult School is one of two winners of OTAN's 2019 Students Succeed program.
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