Monday, June 23, 2014

Students Must Be Included

ESL Student Council President Marco on the left
Moni, Melika, Vice President Maricruz, Teacher Lisa,
Advocate Marina, Yulia, Jess, Daniel, James
On Saturday, June 21, students, teachers, community members, political aides, and the press gathered for a Grassroots Meeting about Adult Education in Berkeley, California.

A group of San Mateo Adult Students presented a panel discussion about student participation, advocacy, community, and voice.  It was a powerful and inspiring presentation.

The group included ESL Morning Student Council President Marco Estrella. 

About why he got involved in advocacy for Adult Education, Marco said,

I wanted to inspire my kids. Now that I have time, I enrolled in San Mateo Adult School.  I am doing the best I can to promote adult education because everyone should have a second try.    Creating alliances with other schools and connecting with the media would help us. Every time we have an event we invite the media.  Sometimes they come.  Sometimes they don't - but we keep insisting.  I have seen in places where Adult Education has been cut that people get in trouble.  Adult Education not only helps us... it helps the whole community.  It helps business because then the community is a secure place for them. 

At the conclusion of the panel discussion, Marco said,

When our education was threatened by closures and cuts, being organized, being informed, being able to cooperate with others is what made the difference to saving our school.  We have written letters and emailed lawmakers.  We have been in Sacramento talking to legislators telling them our stories. 

All this has been a team effort.  Teachers, office staff, and students all working together to raise awareness about the importance of  Adult Education. 

Our Student Council has been the VOICE of the students.  Wherever we have gone, we have insisted that student's input be considered when planning or deciding about our education that would affect our future.  For instance, when planning for the new Regional Consortia.

SMAS Student Council believes that learners of all ages have THE RIGHT to  a fair  education  and opportunities for all. In an environment where everyone can feel safe and proud to be in..............And this right should not expire due to age!

SMAS Student Council President
Marco  Estrella

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