Shellee Carlson came to Rowland Adult & Community Education (RACE) in 1995. She was motivated to earn her high school diploma so that she could graduate and celebrate with her daughter who was about to earn her traditional high school diploma.
Shellee attended high school in the Newport-Mesa School District, dropped out of high school in 1975, went to Rio Hondo College from 1976-1978 and completed 40 units. From there, she went to Fullerton College and completed 34 units from 1977-1981. During this time, Shellee was married and had a child.
As the burden and commitment of a family took precedent over school, Shellee stopped attending school. When she enrolled at RACE, she had three children. Her children are now 19, 23 and 29 and she has two grandchildren. She was awarded a scholarship to continue her education by the Rowland Council PTA, and was selected to be the class graduation speaker, when she graduated from RACE in 1995.
In October 1996, Shellee was hired as an Instructional Assistant to work in the ASE program at RACE. Having gone through the program herself as a student, she felt compelled to give back. She was able to do this by working as an I.A. where she helped students with their course work so they could achieve their high school diplomas. Shellee has been employed at the adult school for 10 years as an I.A.; her leadership abilities have expanded as she serves on the schools Leadership Team as the Concurrent Program Coordinator. Her strengths enable her to be part of the schools assessment team working as one of the chief administers of the CASAS tests. This allows her to work with all the adults in multiple programs helping them see instructional gain and feel self-worth.
Shellee has improved not only her life situation, but has fulfilled a dream of giving back what was given to her. She has a strong faith, strong family values and has grown immensely over the ten years that she has worked at RACE.