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Student Success at the Lifelong Learning Center

Our students come from all walks of life, and have many personal stories to tell. Here are a few of the stories from students at Rio Salado College LLC. These stories are inspiring, just like the students themselves, and showcase how people can use education to open doors to a better future.

Adonise Willis

Adonise Willis
I put a lot on the back burner when I became a wife and gave birth to two beautiful babies, all within two years. I had many responsibilities, so there was no way that I would have considered furthering my education. I didn’t think that getting a GED was the right step for me at the time. Then I moved to Arizona and began taking classes at Rio Salado College. At first, I didn’t think that I would make it through. I was working and taking care of my 1-year old son and 6-month old daughter. But within two months I obtained my GED! Now that I have a diploma, there are multiple job opportunities coming my way and I couldn’t be happier. I would like to give thanks to God for giving me the strength and to those who pushed me to finish.

Leticia Espinoza

Leticia Espinoza
I was born in Mexico, and have lived in Glendale, AZ, since 1985. In 1998, I completed my GED and an 11-month printing shop training. However, due to the death of my husband, I had to postpone my desire to continue my education since my priority was my eight children. In 2004, I registered for English as a Second Language classes at Rio Salado College while simultaneously working a full-time job at a daycare. My employer even helped me to acquire a certificate in Early Child Development. In 2004, I began English classes at Estrella Mountain Community College. I was not able to continue due to personal problems.

It wasn’t until 2014 that I was able to continue classes at Rio Salado. This opportunity has helped me a lot. My fluency in the English language has significantly improved, and now I can navigate each day better, both personally and professionally. Currently I am applying for Rio’s Adults Achieving a College Education program with the goal of achieving an associate degree in education. This tale serves as a motivation for me and my family, and proves dreams can come true with a little bit of effort.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson
I am currently a student in the Adults Achieving a College Education (AACE) program. I came to Rio Salado in May of 2014 hoping to earn my high school equivalency (HSE). Going to back to school was not an easy decision for me as I was not the best student in high school. I was afraid to fail again. But the teachers and advisors at Rio made the transition painless and rather exciting!

When I first started attending HSE classes, I thought I was just there to earn a diploma and continue on with my dreams of becoming a chef. But along the way, I was given an opportunity to apply for the AACE program, and I had to take the chance. Not only have I obtained my HSE within months of taking classes, but I now am earning college credits to put toward my degree! I am very proud to have been a part of the HSE classes and graduation, and am sincerely thankful to all my teachers and peers who have helped me along the way.

Nipaporn York

Nipaporn York
I am from originally from Thailand, and have been living in the United States for almost two years. For the first three months, I did not understand any English. I did not have confidence in myself to speak, read or write in this language. In January 2014, I started taking English classes at Rio Salado College’s Lifelong Learning Center. After only one semester, my language skills improved significantly, to the point that I felt confident enough to apply for and finally get a job.

Since I started the English Language Acquisition for Adults program, I feel more confident. I am so proud of the progress I have made that I am planning to continue with my education. I will start college classes next semester. I want to thank my teachers for all their kind support.