Rosario Estrada

Garden Grove Adult School

Rosario Estrada’s life has changed in many ways since she got her diploma. It all started one day when she stopped at the Garden Grove School District office and she began reading all of the open positions that the school district had to offer. Rosario noticed that a high school diploma was required for most of the positions and that's when she decided to get her diploma.

Rosario is a very busy mother of four. When she started taking classes at Garden Grove Adult School, her children were 3, 4, 10, and 14 years of age. Three of them played soccer on the weekends. The youngest boy had practice once a week and the other two had practice twice a week. They all had games on Saturdays.

Rosario was a full time student from 8:30 to 2:30 Monday through Thursday at Chapman Education Center. Fridays She worked for a family as a housekeeper and on top of that she was president of a Hispanic non-profit organization. The meetings for the organization were on Sundays because it was the only day she had time for them. The meetings were held once a month and Rosario was in charge of arranging and leading the meetings.

For thirty months, Rosario’s daily routine was getting up, making breakfast, helping her children get ready for school, and getting herself ready. Her first stop was at Alamitos Intermediate School where she would drop her oldest son off, then she would drop her two other children off at the childcare center. After that, Rosario would stop at Patton Elementary and her final stop was at the Chapman Education Center. Between schools and soccer practice Rosario had about and hour and a half to get her children started on their homework and cook dinner. Most of the time she had no time to eat at home so she would eat dinner while her children practiced. Of course, the food was cold by then.

When Rosario got home at night, she would only have time for a shower, homework, and a quick snack before she went to sleep. What helped Rosario through this tight schedule was that whenever she had free time, she would start on the next day's dinner by peeling onions, garlic, and washing vegetables. She did anything she could to save time.

Sometimes Rosario wanted to give up some of her responsibilities, but she couldn't because she really liked helping the community and that is what she did in the non-profit organization where she worked as a volunteer. She couldn't stop working on Fridays as a housekeeper because it was the only way she could help her husband financially. Rosario’s husband worked 10 hours a day 6 days a week making 11.50 an hour. It would have been very hard to raise a family of four children with only one paycheck. Rosario thinks that if she got her High School Diploma, anyone can. All it takes is a little effort and a lot of dedication.

When Rosario first started at Chapman Education Center, she was in the ESL program. After two weeks she decided to move to the Reading Lab. She stayed in the Reading Lab until she reached the required reading level to begin the high school diploma program. Rosario started out with zero credits in basic classes such as Basic Reading and Basic Math. The first math class took her twice as long to finish but she never gave up. She was willing to continue no matter what, plus she had a great teacher that helped her out a lot. Besides math, Rosario also took US History, English, Life Science, and the other classes required to graduate. She still remembers the last class she took: Algebra. It was hard for Rosario to believe that she had acquired the 180 credits she needed to graduate!

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