Oak Valley Student Profile - Meet Adela
Adela is a junior at Oak Valley. She is the kind of individual who has it together - strong, outspoken, confident. Her backstory is full of challenges and perseverance. However, when you hear Adela talk, she talks in a matter of fact quality that accepts things as how they are and deals with everything as it comes.
Adela's path has not been straight or easy. Adela's parents are both orphans who made their way from Mexico to Fontana (her dad was 13 and her mom was 15). Neither of her parents has any formal education...not even elementary school. Adela's parents married young. She describes her father working two, three, even four jobs at a time as she grew up (construction, landscaping, and anything else to make ends meet). She is proud of her parents and how they supported her and her siblings with a good life built on hard work.
Adela's older sister is disabled, so Adela started working at a young age to help support her family. Adela was a very strong student who attended a low-quality high school. In high school, she participated in Upward Bound, AVID, and took AP courses. Since her family had no experience in education, she asked a teacher what she should do after high school. Since she was good at math and science, her teacher suggested engineering. Being a hard worker, Adela took the advice and started down that path.
She was accepted to a couple of universities, but her parents were uncomfortable having her leave home, and they needed her support. Adela attended community college to knock out her first two years, while she continued to work and support her family. She had trouble getting the right courses, so it took her far more than two years to move on to a four year program.
After a lot of hard work, she was accepted into Cal Poly's Engineering Program. Since she had to continue working, she found that Cal Poly's program did not fit well with what she needed to do to support her education and her family. She continued to take classes, but she was not making much progress.
She would take a few major courses one semester, and then, spin her wheels for one or two semesters before the next prerequisite course(s) fit with her schedule. She ended up taking courses that she did not need simply to move up on priority lists, so she could get into the courses required for her degree.
Then, joy and tragedy struck. Adela was pregnant. She took time off of school, and five months into her pregnancy, she lost her son. Devastated and questioning her path, she decided to take more time off of school. After a year, she lost her enrollment status, which meant that she would struggle, again, to get courses for her major.
At this time, what should have been a 5-6 year path to her engineering degree grew into nine years. Compounding things further, Adela had $15,000 in student loans, and due to her personal situation, she defaulted and the balance quickly rose to over $30,000.
Adela was defeated...or so she thought.
While attending Centerpoint Church, Adela heard that Oak Valley would have a table outside after services. She asked a lot of questions (she is good at that), and Oak Valley checked off all the right boxes. Most importantly, she could earn her degree in three years with NO student loans. Even though she estimates she had 200 units from Chaffey and Cal Poly, Oak Valley presented a great opportunity to get her life on track and pursue business.
By now, you probably get the idea that Adela is one of those people that just charges ahead without excuses or regrets. If she wants to get something done, she knows that she has to do it.. She learned that from her parents.
When school started, Adela quit her job and thought she would take some time just focus on school. That did not last long, when a local company heard that Adela was available, they reached out and offered her a new job. Since she is one of those busy people, she knew that juggling school and a full-time job was something she could handle.
Besides all that, Adela also watches her brother's kids, regularly, and does bookkeeping work for a nonprofit. Again, she is just one of those busy people.
As you can imagine, math, economics, statistics, and hard work come pretty easily to Adela. She has also learned marketing, writing, and other subjects, which are not her favorite areas, but she has done well enough to make the Dean's List the past few semesters.
When Adela graduates next year, she is interested in a career with a purpose. That purpose could be in several areas or industries. She is open to see what opportunities open up. She enjoys operations, project management, logistics, and engineering, which all come pretty naturally to her.