Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CCAE Recommends: Maintain Relationships With Your Elected Representatives

In order to do their job, elected representatives need to hear from us.  After all, how can they represent us, if they don't know who we are, what we do, and what we need?  CCAE reminds us to help them help us by meeting with them during their August recess.

From CCAE Legislative News:

Dear CCAE Members,
All members of the US Senate and US House will be on recess during the entire month of August. Most of them will be back home meeting with constituents. While the summer is not the best time for us to organize visits with them the recess does provide a great opportunity to have our policy makers meet face to face with students/staff.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mario Gomez: From ESL Student to High School Diploma - with Hard Work, Dedication, and San Mateo Adult School

Mario Gomez graduated in June with a High School Diploma story.  His story, here in his own words, is powerful testament to the strength of himself and his family and the value of Adult Education.

My name is Mario Gomez, and I firmly believe that the importance of education is something that we learn at the young age.

I came from a humble family in Guatemala. Neither of my parents had an opportunity to attend high school, and faced many struggles in their lives. When I was five years old my single mother left me with my relatives in Guatemala, and she decided to come looking for better opportunities in the United States. Even though I spent most of my childhood without my parents, I never felt alone because I had the love of my relatives. They made a commitment early in my life to do everything in the correct way within their power to instill in me a love of learning and an understanding of the importance of hard work and dedication.

My childhood was not easy, but I overcame all the bad moments to gain more life experiences, and all my mistakes were lessons. I moved to the United States in 2008 at the age of 22, and everything was so different from my country and it was a new challenge in my life. My main concern was, where I could learn English? My mother told me about the San Mateo Adult School and its great programs and she encouraged me to attend the English classes. When I started to attend the school, I was afraid to communicate, but I learned that I am the only person responsible for my success. I remember when one of my teachers told me, “Mario, no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress. You are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.”

Those words inspired to keep going in school. At the same time, I met great teachers in the school who believed in my potential and they always encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

Once I completed my studies in the ESL program, l decided to take the opportunity to enroll in the High School Diploma Program. During my long path in the high school diploma, I learned the importance of studying, hard work and dedication. Also inspired me to help the school by serving on the student council as board member because I wanted to give back what the school has done for me.

One of my childhood dreams is to work for a company or organization that helps people and I decided that my next goal is to study psychology or nursing at CaƱada College because “I want to help and inspire people because people will rarely remember what you did for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel, and I learn from my own experience that life is not about making others happy; life is about sharing your happiness with others. “
Mario and Mr. T
Family, teachers, school administrators, friends and of course my fellows graduates, I want to thank you all of you for support that you have given us to reach this point in our lives. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you and I wish you the best in your near future.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Guidelines for Navigating New Waters

The July 10, 2015 Technical Webinar had a lot of helpful information to help guide us through new waters we're sailing through.

Implementation Focus Group's Draft Guidelines
     Listen to the Recording

Saturday, July 11, 2015

GED and High School Diploma Success Stories

From San Mateo County Times (July 2015) Columnist Carolyn Livengood,
a story of why Adult Education matters:
Proud San Mateo Adult School 2015 Graduates
Photo Credit: Tom Jung

San Mateo Adult School awards 44 high school diplomas, 31 GED certificates

San Mateo Adult School awarded 44 high school diplomas and 31 GED certificates at its annual graduation ceremony held June 17 for graduates ranging in age from 17 to 51 years old this year.

Mr. T and Graduate
Photo Credit:  Tom Jung
About 180 people, including 24 of the 75 total graduates, attended the annual graduation ceremony held June 17 at the College of San Mateo. Graduate Rebeca Zuleta, who earned two scholarships, and Director Lawrence "Larry" Teshara, known affectionately as "Mr. T" by the students, welcomed them to the event.

The adult school, part of the San Mateo Union High School District, is at The SMART Center in San Mateo. Scholarship awards, totaling $15,050 were presented to 15 students. The winners, their city of residence, and their scholarship donors are:

* Rebeca Zuleta, of Fremont (formerly San Mateo), John and Lisa Nelson.
* Megan Tzoc, Burlingame, William E. and Janet J. Price.
* Jose Pina, Redwood City, San Mateo Masonic Lodge #226.
* Marlon Ticas, San Bruno, Burlingame Masonic Lodge No. 400.
* Debra Benavides, Redwood City; Martha Contreras, San Mateo; Carmen Rivera, Burlingame; and Rebeca Zuleta; Burlingame Bodies of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
* Nathan Nack, San Mateo, Jenny Bratton/GED.
* Mario Gomez, San Mateo, Rotary Club of Foster City.
* Felipe Diaz Vega, San Mateo; Ai-Chu Huang, Millbrae. and Darlyng Lopez, San Bruno; Lynda Mathe Memorial;
* Brian Zamora, San Mateo, Steven Paul Friedman Foundation.
* Isabella Cavett, Belmont, Golden Gate Commandery No.16.
* Fernando Zelaya, San Mateo, Shipman Family (in honor of Lawrence Teshara).

Mario Gomez speaking at Graduation 2015
Photo Credit:  Tom Jung
The student speakers, who shared their stories of overcoming challenges in their life in order to graduate, were: Mario Gomez, Debra Benavides, Jose Pina, Brian Zamora, Isabella Cavett, and Fernando Zelaya.

"The San Mateo Adult School provided an alternative for me at a point in my life when I thought all else was gone," Fernando Zelaya said. "I recently moved from Mississippi to California to finish up my last year of school. I started my senior year attending San Mateo High School.

"I never had the problem of attending school, but this year nothing seemed to go right for me, especially at home. Adapting to a new school, new classmates, new family members, and having to work to pay bills, all these challenges coming my way and I didn't know what to do. My grades were significantly going down, my attendance was getting worse by the weeks, and stress was getting worse by the day.
Graduate speaking
Photo Credit:  2015

"Soon I was called by the counselor of my school to talk about my situation. I was given the opportunity to finish my work on my own times. After a few weeks of attending, I realized I wasn't the only one with personal problems there. I saw the determination in each one of us. I saw that no matter what was happening outside of school, we were still going to strive for our success. Along with the awesome staff at San Mateo Adult School working hard to help us achieve our goals, I think I can say that we have made it here today."

Robert Graffin and Graduate Mario Gomez
Photo Credit:  Tom Jung

Robert Griffin, clerk, San Mateo Union High School District board of trustees, gave closing remarks to the graduates.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

VALUE USA - Adult Learner Leadership Conference Scholarships - Apply by July 20

Voice of Adult Learners United to Educate -
Thank You to Our Helping Foundations
We would like to take the time to thank our supporting foundations for which most of what we do is because of their generous donations.

A big thank you goes to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for helping out VALUEUSA and by sponsoring our Susan D. Green Memorial Award Dinner, an annual meeting and award banquet event on Wednesday, August 12 for the upcoming Leadership Institute. Another thank you goes to the Anderson-Rogers Foundation for providing general support enabling the Leadership Institute to continue operating and reach its goals. We appreciate both of their continued support to VALUEUSA.


Limited Free Registrations
We are pleased to announce that we have been granted a scholarship from SMRT Education to provide adult learner students outside of Texas a free registration! This is what SMRT Education has to say:

"SMRT Education stands with the idea that student leadership is an integral part of student success. Conferences such as the one held annually by VALUEUSA, that allow students to set the agenda and facilitate their own professional growth, are the kind of empowering, SEL friendly activities that SMRT Education strongly supports."

This is a limited opportunity to get out-of-state adult learners a free registration for our conference! All you need to do is contact our office by July 20 either by phone or e-mail to let us know that you need a registration. These free registrations are in limited number so the earlier you contact the better.

Our e-mail address and phone number:
(484) 443-8457
Hotel Reservations and Early Registrations
Lastly we want to inform you that Wednesday, July 15 is the final date to get early bird rates for registrations and RSVP a Grand Hyatt hotel room at $115 for a single occupancy. Higher occupancy adds only $25 for person to this price.

Rooms are getting booked quickly and there’s only a few days left before registration prices increase. You can also become a member to save more on registration even after the deadline above.

Registrations are available online and hard copy mail through our website at

You can call the hotel at (888) 421-1442 and let them know you’re with VALUEUSA to get the special rates or reserve online using this link

If you are still considering sponsoring an event or want to help get an adult learner to the conference, you can sponsor by July 31 using this link

Check us on
Contact Us
1 West 2nd Street
Media, PA 19063

(484) 443-8457