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Magdalena Cerda-Baez

Description: Introduction music plays while the blue OTAN logo appears on a black screen. The music continues as California Adult Education Students Succeed 2012 is shown on screen with a logo. As the music plays a picture of M. Magdalena Cerda-Baez, Montgomery Adult School is shown. She has long dark hair, eye glasses, and is smiling. The screen then fades into a video clip of Magdalena walking through an office. She is wearing a long dark skirt and a light blue t-shirt.

Description: Argelia Ramirez-Cerda is a young Hispanic female. She has dark hair that is pulled back in a braid and dark eyes. She is wearing a dark floral blouse, dangly earrings and has a nose piercing. She is sitting in front of a bookcase as she speaks.

Argelia Ramirez-Cerda, Daughter: My mom has a very colorful background. She comes from Mexicali, from a very different economic situation from where we are now.

Description: Magdalena is a Hispanic female with long straight hair. She is sitting in front of a bookcase filled with books. She is wearing a blue top with two necklaces and dangly earrings. As she speaks, a photograph is shown of Magdalena and her family.

M. Magdalena Cerda-Baez, CAESS 2012 Honoree: I come to United States with my husband and three kids for better education. I go to the Montgomery school because it's very accessible for many people.

Description: Adriana Sanchez-Aldana is interviewed. She has shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes. She is wearing a pastel colored top and is sitting in front of a bulletin board and a bookcase.

Adriana Sanchez-Aldana, Principal, Montgomery Adult School: Magdalena represents, I think, so many of our students in that she came for one goal and that was to improve her parenting skills. She found, with encouragement from her fellow students, that maybe she should also improve her English skills.

Description: Magadalena Ramirez is a young Hispanic female. She has long brown hair and dark eye glasses. She is sitting in front of a bookcase. Magadelena is wearing a sleeveless top. She has a chain necklace on.

Description: A video clip is shown of Magdalena in an office. She is standing behind a desk and flipping through pages of a binder.

Magadalena Ramirez, Daughter: I always knew that learning and English was always difficult for her and she started going to these classes because she wanted to learn English and she wanted to be more involved with us and our lives.

Description: A video clip is shown of Magdalena in her office with her two daughters and a baby. She is looking through a binder.

Argelia: She has a little bit of dyslexia. It affects, you know, her English language ability and that has been difficult for her but she has been able to recognize it. She has succeeded none the less.

Description: Monty Lish's interview is held in front of a bulletin board and a bookcase. He has light colored short hair and a mustache. He is wearing a blue collared shirt.

Description: A video clip is shown of Magdalena in her office and also speaking with Adriana.

Monty C. Lish, ESL Instructor, Montgomery Adult School: Magdalena's always had a talent for organizing people and organizing events and organizing my students as well and helped me often with the class and many times I would look to her for help in organizing people and inspiring people to do things that they wouldn't ordinarily do. It's really wonderful to see her transition from being a housewife and a student to becoming a working mother with a career that she really enjoyed and that she really liked.

Description: Leticia Ayala has shoulder length curly brown hair. She is wearing a white blouse with colorful trim and white pearl earrings. There is a bookshelf behind her.

Description: Magdalena is shown in a video clip on the phone in her office.

Leticia Ayala, Director for Programs, Environmental Health Coalition: Magdalena Cerda, Nena as we all know her by Nena, is one of our senior community organizers who is now directing our Border Environmental Justice campaign here at Environmental Health Coalition and she's just an awesome leader so I'm very happy to be working with her in the campaign.

Magdalena: I was community organizer because I can understand the programs for the people in the community. Many people have the same problem like me, so. The people here in Mexico need help for access to the better life, better health, and education.

Description: Georgette has shoulder length black hair. She is wearing a green shirt and has dark framed eye glasses. She is sitting in front of a bookcase.

Georgette Gomez, Associate Director, Toxic Free Neighborhoods Campaign: She does organizing. She does empowerment of residents to really support them to speak up and she helps people, mentors people, to really take action and not be silent.

Description: Alheli has dark curly hair that hangs just below her shoulders. She has a pair of sunglasses on top of her head. She is wearing a white blouse with a brown design on it. Computer speakers sit on a shelf in the background.

Description: Alheli and Magdalena are shown in what appears to be a lobby, having a conversation.

Alheli Banos-Keener, Environmental Health Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: I just see her as a very good community advocate because she's very good at working with people. She has a very good personality and she's very gutsy and, you know, she tells it how it is so she tells you what needs to get done and you work with her to make sure that you're doing the right thing for the community.

Description: A video clip is shown of Magdalena and her daughter talking. Magdalena is holding the baby.

Leticia: Magdalena works with her heart and I think that that's one of the key qualities that really makes her shine because in every decision that she makes she always considers everybody.

Description: A video is shown of Magdalena, Adriana, and her two daughters in an office having a conversation.

Magadalena (Daughter): She deals a lot with community issues and working with people and that, to me, has been a great example because the element of serving your community has always been an example for me and something that I wanted to take into whatever profession I chose; something that involves working with people and something that involves helping others.

Description: Magdalena is shown working in her office while Argelia speaks.

Argelia: It's a very demanding position but it's also very rewarding for her because as it has its challenges she's been able to accomplish many things I think for her personally and I'm proud of her.

Description: A video of Magdalena and Adriana in an office looking at an award made of glass is shown.

Description: Music plays softly as the interviews continue.

Adriana: Adriana: Adult education helped her get the self confidence that she needed to be able to move on to do the things that she had kind of thought about and hoped that she might be able to do one day but didn't have the confidence to do at that moment.

Magdalena: I'm happy because the next month I may be a citizen in the United States.

Description: A photograph is shown of Magdalena, her husband, and her three children at her son's graduation. They are all smiling and happy.

Magdelana (Daughter): In her upbringing coming from an impoverished family and coming from Mexico she has come a long way, like really far. I don't know where we'd be if she hadn't done all the stuff that she's done for herself and for us, all her kids.

Description: As the video ends a clip of Magdalena talking and smiling is shown.

Magdalena: You need go to the adult school for progress and in life.

Special Thanks to: Montgomery Adult School, Sweetwater UHSD. Producer: Blair Roy, Director: Douglas Rennie. Produced by OTAN,, 2012