Maryanin Sotelo immigrated to the United States with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Mexico. However, due to her inability to speak English, she was unable to work in the United States in her field. Instead, she worked in jobs such as house cleaner, babysitter, farm worker, and even sold boxes of strawberries on the streets. Whatever job opportunities were presented to her, she took; no job was too hard.
Maryanin was determined to grow personally and professionally in her new homeland – USA. She soon realized that without the ability to communicate in English, she would not be able to reach the goals she had set for herself. Instead of going home to rest after work, she would take several buses and walk to school to attend her English as a Second Language classes
at the Orange Education Center (OEC), the Adult Continuing Education division of Santiago Canyon College. She was determined to learn how to communicate fluently in English.
Gradually, she progressed from English as a Second Language (ESL) Transition classes (basic English) to her current level of ESL Intermediate 2. Maryanin states that she has had several outstanding ESL instructors throughout her enrollment at OEC, however, Grazyna Kopydlowska continuously motivated her to keep learning and not to give up. She considers her one of the instructors that really made a positive impact in her life as a student.
According to Maryanin, OEC and her instructors provided her with many opportunities to learn English, gain confidence, an in turn, fuelled her ambition until she attained her goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Maryanin Sotelo currently owns 14 stores which offer services such as check cashing, money wiring, travel arrangements, several beauty salons, and a Laundromat, to name a few. She now also utilizes the OEC Career Center to recruit students for employment opportunities available through her businesses. She is a true believer of the term “Paying it forward.”
Rails Rasay has been described by his instructors and
counselors as a high achiever, focused on accomplishing his goal of completing
his high school diploma, and soon after, enter the Army where he will be
entering the Linguistics Program.
The soon to be Orange Education Center high school graduate
has a GPA of 3.57 and is determined to continue his education with the ultimate
goal of attaining an MBA from UCLA.
Ramil’s career goal is to own his own business and
travel the world. With the determination and drive displayed while completing
his educational goal at the Orange Education Center, there is no doubt he will
be a success in accomplishing his future goals and ultimately becoming a
success in the business world.
Tammy Pineda became the first member of her family
to attain a high school diploma on June 4, 2010; she is part of a family of seven siblings. She
attended the high school program through the Orange Education Center (OEC), the
division of Adult Continuing Education for Santiago Canyon College.
Tammy Pineda is an 18 year old cancer survivor.
Her fight with cancer started at the age of 12, and led to a series
of malignant tumor removal operations, followed by 25 rounds of radiation. She is now cancer and seizure free!
She attended the high school program at OEC as a full time student
with a GPA of 3.0. In spite of her battle with cancer, she rarely missed a day
She continues her education at Santiago Canyon College Tammy also serves as a volunteer at Mary’s
Kitchen (a soup kitchen for the homeless and poverty stricken members of the
community). And, is an active member on an advisory board to the Children’s
Hospital of Orange County. She also
serves as a “Foster Sister” and mentor to a developmentally challenged teen.
Tammy gives credit to the Orange Education Center teachers and
staff (secretaries, teachers, aides and counselors) who made the most difficult
time of her life, easier. She is looking forward to continuing her education at
Santiago Canyon College and in the near future enter the medical field, where
she feels she can make a difference.
Approximately – 1 Year
at OEC and received his High School Diploma in Summer 2012.
Joshua went on to
enroll at Santiago Canyon College in the Fall 2012, and is currently enrolled
as a Full Time Student.
Joshua’s goal is to
complete his general education and transfer to a 4 year university and attain a
Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Industrial Design,
and then proceed to attain his Masters in Mechanical Engineering.
His career life goal is to specialize in Rally Racing
performance vehicle design, with an emphasis on specializing in SUBARU
mechanics. One day, he plans to open his own custom Off-Road Performance