Linda Bailey is 57 years old and loves adult education! She dropped out of Hogan High School in Vallejo in the sixties to get married. When she tried to go back to finish, Linda found that married women could take classes to earn a diploma but could not participate in any school activities and she declined. Linda went to Vallejo Adult School in 1973 and took the GED tests. She passed on the spot without the help of any classes.
In 1977 when her son was five, she had part-time work taking care of elderly people. This work made her think about health care as a career path. With this new self discovery, Linda enrolled in Vallejo Adult School and took their new Home Health Aide classes. She completed the program and was certified by state exam, which allowed her to work as a Home Health Aide or Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). Soon after, she began her work in health care.
Linda and her family moved to Ventura County where her life was filled with ups and downs. She was in a dysfunctional and abusive marriage and was now mother to three boys. She went to work in her most rewarding position as a CNA at Raleigh Hills Hospital, a facility for the treatment of alcoholism. There, Linda thrived and made a positive contribution for others while still enduring a difficult marriage and caring for her boys. She was voted as having the most leadership ability by her peers and received the Employee of the Year Award. After that, she applied for a job at Ventura County Mental Health. Out of the eight applicants that applied, Linda was the candidate they selected.
After a work related injury, Linda received rehabilitative services that helped her to enroll in Simi Valley Adult School's LVN program and in June 1985, she proudly completed the 18-month program that began her nursing career.
In 1986 her family moved back to Vallejo, where she worked for several years as a charge nurse at Mariposa Nursing Home in Fairfield. While still in the abusive marriage, she pushed through and found time to help in her children's school, and was co-founder of the PTA at Beverly Hills Elementary in 1988-89.
While continuing as a charge nurse, Linda was recruited by Fairfield Adult School to become their CNA instructor. Linda speaks very highly of principal, Jan Hannigan, who she says hired her during a phone interview. She taught CNA there for five years and was on the faculty when the school was selected as a Program of Excellence for Vocational Education. Linda continued to work as a charge nurse and was doing staff development at the nursing home, and in 1994, she received a statewide certification in staff development.
Today Linda Bailey continues to learn, grow, and give back. She left her abusive marriage in the 1990's. She is enrolled in the Bachelor of Vocational Education (BVE) Program at California State University Sacramento (CSUS). Some of those classes are helping her to earn a clear adult vocational teaching credential. Linda has some health problems and is again learning how to access resources which will enable her to keep going with her education. She would like to continue teaching and has her eye on a private postsecondary school in Vacaville. She also would like to work as a career counselor or job coach and help others as she was helped. Linda says, "I am where I am today because of good people along the way." As an example she explains that she is grateful for the help she received on her way to becoming an LVN. Some expenses were paid to help her as an injured worker, but she did not have money for books. She credits good people at Simi Valley Adult School who could see she needed help and lent her used books from the office.
Linda volunteers at her church, Flames of Fire, in Fairfield. She works with the women's ministry, helps at the women's home for ex-offenders, and works with the quickly growing Gateway to Success Program.
Linda is a lifelong learner. She is an amazing example of adult education students succeeding.
"It was a pleasure to have Linda in class,” says BVE instructor Margaret Rogers, “She is an inspiration to others to keep going."
Over the decades Linda has climbed the health careers ladder and shared her expertise as a teacher - all through adult education.