Jose G. Gomez arrived from Oaxaca, Mexico in January of 1987 and settled in the small town of Gonzales, California, “That was a very cold month for me,” he says. Here, he found work in the fields performing many different job tasks including planting lettuce, planting strawberries, picking strawberries, and cleaning up a variety of vegetables.
“I saw the opportunities that this country offers, so I decided to attend the Salinas Adult School,” Jose remembers. “While I was working in the fields from 6:00 am to 5:00 or 6:00 pm, I started attending the Salinas Adult School from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. I enrolled in the ESL program, which is an excellent program to learn English and it opens the door for those that want to be successful in this country, the country of the opportunities. At the same time that I was learning English, Salinas Adult School helped me to get my GED. This helped me to move on to the next step in attaining my goals, to go to Hartnell College in Salinas. I would like to mention that in the beginning I did not want to attend Hartnell College because I was afraid of my English, but the teachers from the ESL program were always supporting and helping me to achieve my goals. Once I was in Hartnell College, they helped me to finish all my ESL classes and start taking regular classes so I was able to finish my AS in Electronics.”
“I always worked while I was trying to achieve my education because I had a goal to have my own business one day. I knew that if I worked harder I was going to achieve it.” With this goal in mind, seven years later in 1994, Jose started his first business, a print shop. Jose owned and ran his print shop for four years, which he then sold in order to finish his Bachelors degree in Computer Science. After three semesters in Devry Institute of Technology, Jose attained a position with AOL. After working with AOL for a couple years, Jose started another business in marketing “El Tianguis Magazine”, in 2002, a publication in Spanish created for the Hispanic community.
Jose proudly states, “Now that I recap my success all these years in this country, I can say that the ESL program was the platform that helped me to get where I am right now and more that is to come. One thing that I will do next is to give back to the community what the community gave me when I came to this country. I can do this by creating job openings in my business to help people to grow in their goals. Finally, I thank God for bringing me to this beautiful country where dreams come true. I always say, if you have a goal, work harder and you will achieve it.”