How Upward Scholars helped save a student's job

A few months after Gloria started work as a teaching assistant at the Redwood Child Development Center, her supervisor gave her some unwelcome news: To keep her job, she needed to take early childhood education (ECE) classes and get a preschool teaching credential.

Gloria had no difficulty with her initial ECE classes because they were taught in Spanish. Her challenge came with subsequent classes, which were taught in English, because she didn't know English. If she didn't learn English, she'd have no choice but to return to her previous job cleaning houses.

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Gloria took ESL classes, from basic to advanced, at Cañada College and then enrolled in ECE classes taught in English. Upward Scholars paid for her college books and parking pass, bought her a laptop, and paired her with a tutor with whom she met weekly.

In May, Gloria received notice from the State that she had sufficient credits to be classified as a master teacher. It's taken her nine years - with work and family responsibilities ­and the challenging nature of her classes, she could enroll only in one class per semester.

"Upward Scholars and Cañada College made it possible for me to keep my job and become a master teacher," says Gloria. "It has taken me a long time, but I reached my goal." 

Tania Ventura