Student Spotlight

Andrea W.

A teen mother at age 15, Andrea dropped out of high school in the 10th grade.  After having her baby, she started hanging around the wrong crowd. She began to use drugs and alcohol, which lead to a life in and out of jail. The last time she was out of prison, Andrea became pregnant for the third time. It was then that she learned of a place called Casa Teresa, which houses homeless pregnant women, and came to the organization for help.

Andrea was accepted to Casa Teresa and began to put her life back together. This included taking courses at a local community college to try to earn her high school diploma. During this journey, Casa Teresa Career and Education Manager Maria Ayala told her about the ACC Educational Foundation and its HSE Academies program designed to help in-need community members achieve their high school equivalency, all at no cost to students. She enrolled and began attending daily two-hour classes at the HSE Academies’ Anaheim campus.

Though it had been nearly 15 years since she had been in school, Andrea was committed and began to study. Her instructor, Ivan Barrera, gave her the encouragement, motivation and real-world tools needed to succeed and pass the HSE test. He gave her the confidence that she could and would achieve her goal. And she did! Andrea successfully passed the HiSET® exam, one of the HSE tests adopted by the state of California. When she passed this exam, she earned her high school equivalency certificate, which is equal to a high school diploma.

But Andrea’s story of achievement goes even further. After earning her HSE certificate, she landed a job as an administrative assistant in a medical office. She says her life is now back on track!

“I learned so much about myself and how much I could do and accomplish thanks to Casa Teresa and my experience with the ACC Educational Foundation,” Andrea said. “I’m in a great place in life and have so much to look forward to.”

American Career College Foundation - Student Spotlight

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