Program Success Stories Carlos RodriguezCarlos got the right stuff at CCCCarlos Rodriguez was a clerk at a 7-11 store when he started taking English classes at Clackamas Community College. When Carlos arrived here from Mexico, he already had a high level of English, but he felt he needed some work with his reading, writing, and grammar skills. Carlos completed the CCC ESL program after one and a half years. After that, he went on to take writing classes in the English department, and he also began studying French. Furthermore, he had been promoted to assistant manager of 7-11 when he was recruited to work as a supervisor at Grocery Outlet in Oregon City. After one year of service, he was promoted to assistant manager of the store. Everyone at the Grocery Outlet has wonderful things to say about Carlos, and their comments include many compliments on his good English skills! Carlos plans on returning to Clackamas to get a certificate in Human Resources.Eduardo HernandezEduardo's SMART StoryEduardo Hernandez moved to the USA 16 years ago. For many years, he worked at a Bakery in Los Angeles where most of his co-workers were also Spanish speakers. But after he was laid off three years ago, he decided to learn English, and moved to Oregon to attend school. Enrolling at the beginning level in the ESL program at CCC, this motivated student quickly moved through the program, completing it after less than two years. He then enrolled in the CAD-CAM program in the Manufacturing Department. Eduardo applied for financial aid last year, and was awarded a scholarship that pays for books, a laptop computer, and a year's tuition. He plans to graduate in the Spring of 2009. (written 1/2008)Gloria Castaneda CCC is a place where we care about each otherGloria Castaneda came to the U.S. when she was nine years old. She learned English quickly because there weren’t very many Hispanic people in the area. Her elementary school hired a bilingual aid to help her and her brothers and sisters with their classes. Gloria now regrets having dropped out of high school during her junior year, but fortunately, she learned about CCC’s GED program through her sister, Irene Carrillo, who was working for Clackamas County’s Migrant Headstart program. After finding out that she could study for her GED at the Oregon City campus, she actually passed all the tests within a week or two, and says, “I guess what I had learned in high school had actually stuck with me.” She says that more than anything, she was motivated to succeed by her parents, who had sacrificed everything for their family. Gloria remembers her parents saying, “We brought you here because here you have the opportunity to become someone, to make a living without having to kill yourself.” Her mother is very proud of her children, who have good jobs, good families, and are responsible and happy.Like her mother, Gloria also is thankful for her blessings. Today Gloria is the ESL secretary at Harmony Center. She thanks the staff at Clackamas for helping her get where she is, saying, “I hope to be part of it for a long, long time.” She is especially thankful of the Clackamas staff who work in Community Education and Customized Training, who were particularly helpful to her when she started working here. “This is not just a job for me; this is a place where I know that we all care about each other.”Hanna ChoiESL at CCC starts Hanna on her wayHanna Choi came to the United States from Korea in 2001. She had studied English for one year in middle school in her country. When she first arrived in Oregon, along with her parents she enrolled in ESL classes at Clackamas Community College’s Oregon City campus. She studied English during the day and worked at a dry cleaning business when she wasn’t in class. She learned to speak English quickly, but it took her longer to learn how to read and write well. She concentrated on her reading and writing, and completed Advanced Reading and Writing after two years in the ESL program. She felt well prepared for Writing 121 and other college classes after her experiences in ESL reading and writing classes. Hanna got married in 2004 and moved to Indiana with her new husband. She is completing her college education at Indiana University and will graduate with a degree in accounting. She wants to become an accountant after she completes her studies at Indiana University.Mohammed ZaherAchieve your dreams at CCCMohammed Zaher came to the United States in 2000 from the United Arab Emirates. His family had been here for 20 years, and it had always been his dream to join them. He had heard that the U.S. was a land of opportunity and that one could become whatever they wanted to be. He started from scratch here and worked all kinds of jobs to get ahead. Knowing that he needed to improve his English skills, he entered the English as a Second Language program at the intermediate level and completed the advanced level in one year. Motivated to get a degree in engineering, Mohammed began taking college classes such as math, physics, writing, and speech. He graduated from CCC in 2005 and is transferring to Portland State University to complete his degree in mechanical engineering. Mohammed could end up designing airplanes for Boeing or working for Nike, where he is currently employed. Mohammed says, “In America, you can be anything you want to be. That is not available in other countries.” Mohammed graduated from PSU with a degree in civil engineering. He also achieved his dream of working for Nike, which he did for three years. Now Mohammed it getting his Master’s in Business Administration while working for the city of Vancouver as a transportation engineer. He plans to go back to work for Nike when he finishes his degree.Noriko YoungCCC helps Noriko return to nursingNoriko Young was a registered nurse in Japan when she met her future husband, an Oregonian. She moved to the U.S. when she got married and started taking English as a Second Language classes at Clackamas Community College. She studied English for one year. Noriko was very pleased with her experiences in the ESL program. She felt that she got a lot of individual attention from her instructors because of the small classes. Also, the instructors were very accessible, got to know the students well, and tailored the instruction to meet students’ needs. Noriko also liked how they took the time to follow up on questions the students had, particularly about grammar. While studying English in the computer lab, Noriko was also able to improve her computer skills. After completing the ESL program, Noriko felt well-prepared to take college classes. She still kept in touch with her ESL instructors, who helped her with her resume and job search skills. In 2004, the college got a grant to prepare immigrants who were registered nurses in their native countries to become licensed nurses in Oregon. Noriko was accepted into the program, and now she hopes to pass the required tests and become a nurse in Oregon.Yelena DemchenkoThe first step to medical career in the U.S.Due to the growing number of Russian-speaking immigrants in Clackamas County, former CCC student Yelena Demchenko’s skills as a bilingual nurse are greatly valued by her employer, Kaiser Hospital. Yelena was formerly a physician in her native country, the Ukraine, and she arrived in the USA speaking very little English. She recognized that learning English would be the first step toward reaching her goal of once again serving society as a medical professional and enrolled in ESL classes at CCC. Her diligence and aptitude enabled her to progress quickly, and after several years of preparation, she was accepted into a local nursing program. Having graduated in June 2002, Yelena now works as a post-op nurse and also does medical translation. She and her family are excited to be buying their first house in a development near the CCC Oregon City Campus! She credits the CCC ESL program for providing her the educational opportunity that allowed her to eventually achieve her goal of again practicing medicine.Yolanda EspinozaPerseverance leads Yolanda to successYolanda Espinoza arrived in the U.S. in 1998, seeking a better life for herself and her family. She had completed 9 years of school in Chiapas, Mexico. She entered the Even Start family literacy program in Milwaukie so that she could learn English while her daughter attended preschool. After that, she started taking night ESL classes at Clackamas Community College’s Harmony campus. She entered in the beginning level in Life Skills. At the same time, she worked two shifts as a dishwasher at Pastas in West Linn. A year later, because her English got better, she became a line cook in the restaurant.When Yolanda’s daughter started elementary school, she started taking day classes in Oregon City. She was now in the intermediate level, but it took her three terms to pass Intermediate Reading and Writing. At times she felt very discouraged and wanted to give up, but she kept on trying. Eventually, she progressed to the advanced level and entered the college. At first, she took Computer for New Users in Spanish to upgrade her computer skills. Then, in winter 2004 she took her first English class, Writing 95. Even though her ESL instructor told her she could take Writing 121, she chose 95 because she wanted to be sure that she could succeed. Now she has taken many other college classes, such as math, psychology, human relations, and mental health. Her goal is to get a degree in nursing or computer science.Yolanda credits her success to perseverance. She realized that learning a new language wouldn’t be easy, but her husband told her, “If you want to do something, you have to suffer a little bit.” In addition, she is fortunate to have a supportive employer who allows her to do her homework at work when business is slow. This project was made possible by a grant from the Clackamas Community College Foundation.