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Angelica Padilla

Description: Intro music and Angelica shown in her classroom. She sits in front of a class bulletin board showing many group photos. There are many family photos shown including pictures of her wedding, and her children as babies. Photos of her daughter as a toddler are also pictured. Photos of Angelica holding two boys in the Evenstart classroom; sitting outside with the children on a quilt; sitting in the classroom with other parents.

Narrator:  Angelica Padilla came from Mexico with no English skills.  Through adult education, she found a better way of life for herself and her family.  She now attends college with her daughter and teaches in the program she attended.

Angelica:  My name is Angelica Padilla.  I was born in Mexico.  I came to the United States, running through the border of Tijuana in San Ysidro, running, yeah actually.  My husband was working in the fields and we were just barely making enough to pay our apartment, just to go by with what we were earning.  My daughter, my oldest daughter started attending preschool.  They were calling the mothers of those kids in the preschool who they knew could use some of the English classes.  So, they contacted me, for me it was oh, yeah, yeah, I'll go, yeah.  It's free, they don't charge anything, they will take care of my daughter and my son, so yeah, I'll come. That's when I found out about that, this school.

Description: Vivian Simmons shown in front of the class bulletin board. She is a blonde woman wearing a black dress accessorized with a large, black heart pendant.

Vivian Simmons, Program Director: She was so excited; she found out that if she came to Clovis Adult School… Up until that time, though, she had been watching children's TV and trying to learn words, the news, anything she could, but having three children, she couldn't go to school.  Well, she heard about the Even Start program and I don't think she even realized what it was, she just thought it was a place to leave her children, but she said Even Start really did change her life.

Description: Melanie is also interviewed in front of the purple bulletin board. She had short dark hair and is wearing a lively green paisley blouse.

Melanie Franz, Instructor:  I think the reason that Angelica stood out to me was because she was a very determined person.  She seemed to know what she wanted.  She seemed to have no sense that she wasn't going to achieve it.  She seemed very motivated and very serious about her work. I'm not sure what it was, but we had kind of an instant admiration for each other and so I just really enjoyed having her in there because of that connection we seemed to have. As a teacher, you always respond to people who want to learn and so that was one of the reasons, I'm sure, that we connected.

Description: Susan Gross is also interviewed sitting in front of the bulletin board. She is blonde and wearing and aqua suit.

Susan Gross, Instructor:  Well, Angelica is what makes teaching fun. You know, it's those people that come who want to learn who succeed. Oh, we are so proud of her. I mean, she has just been amazing.

Description: Photo of Angelica and Melanie in the classroom. Another photo of Melanie with Angelica at her graduation is shown. She is wearing a purple graduation cap and gown. A picture of Angelica's GED certificate is shown.

Angelica:  My teachers, oh I love them all. I admire them so much. Melanie is one of my best friends and I just look up to her so much because she's my role model. She gave me so much confidence, she gave me, you know, with her friendship and the way she treated me it was like, I can do it. I can continue; this is possible. It's doable, and so I just consider myself lucky of happen to be in her class. While I was attending Even Start, I obtained my GED. Then after that I took citizenship classes to become a citizen of this country. I took computer classes here. But I went from ESL to GED to citizenship to office procedures, and now college. I'm going to Reedley College. One more semester and I will finish with my AA and then I will be able to transfer to the university at Fresno State.

Description: Exterior shot of Reedley College. Vivian continues to speak in front of the bulletin board. Group photos of the EvenStart staff as well as pictures of all Angelica's new friends are shown.  Also shown is Angelica working in class.

Vivian:  In fact, when she graduated she was first in her class getting her GED. Our Superintendent at the time said, "You can have a job any place, any time that you have the education for. We want a person like you."

Angelica:  Right now, I work for the Even Start program here at the Clovis Adult School. My title is bilingual instructor, but I do a lot more that just translating. I look back when I, the first year when I came, and I had no goals. Once I arrived here and like I said, with the confidence I received from the classes and the friendship, the way they treated me, that gave me a lot of confidence and then I became less intimidated and set goals and because of the parenting class, I learned how important it is to be a role model and how educated parents can help their children to become successful students. So, I did it for that too, because I wanted my kids to do well and have a good future.