Continuing Education (Noncredit Programs)
|Renée Báez||Community Liaison|
|Rosie Aydedjian||SFP Specialist|
|Lily Gevorgian||Citizenship Program Specialist|
My father immigrated to Los Angeles from Russia. My mother, the daughter of immigrant parents, fondly spoke of her days attending Theodore Roosevelt High School, which opened its doors in East Los Angeles in 1923. In the early 1900’s, after an initial period in mid-west cities, newcomers, like my parents and grandparents, moved to Los Angeles, eventually making East L.A. their home. In fact, many immigrants had a significant presence there, especially in the Brooklyn Avenue, Boyle Heights, and City Terrace sections.
At a very early age, I remember living near Venice Beach. At that time less expensive housing attracted many immigrants. However, when my dad purchased a business in City Terrace, our family was inexplicably drawn back to East L.A.
Like most of East L.A., City Terrace was once considerably more diverse, with large Jewish, Japanese, and Mexican populations. Major thoroughfares included City Terrace Drive and Eastern Avenue. We lived on City Terrace Drive, above the market where my father had his business. I attended City Terrace Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School.
Growing up in East L.A. had a profound affect on my life. It was a phenomenal multicultural experience that greatly influenced who I am today and the work I do at Valley College, that of educating many first generation students of varied ethnic backgrounds. Similarly, I was the first in my family to attend a university. I thank my parents for supporting me in that endeavor.
Eventually my family moved near Valley College where I attended UCLA. At first I majored in Education and then changed to Art. I am so glad that I followed my dream and majored in what I loved doing – painting, drawing, and studying art history. Later I was to earn a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. Now, as Director of Continuing Education, I am helping many first generation college students, like myself, get an education so that they may follow their dreams.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.”
You must believe in yourself
to realize your dream.
I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, but I have made LA my home, with occasional wanderings back to the peace of country and southern talk. It has always been my pleasure to connect with people from all over the world, those whom I teach and those who have taught me about the value of difference, the universality of dreams.
Some say teachers are born. Personally, I never wanted to teach until I was asked to co-teach a writing class. I went prepared to hate the job, but when I walked to the front of the class and looked out at all those curious faces, I knew I’d found my vocation. Since then, I have taught English and English as a Second Language for LA Pierce and Valley Colleges, and even Teaching English as a Second Language to prospective teachers at UCLA Extension. When I began teaching at LA Valley College in 1995, I had only 13 students in a program that grew to serve hundreds.
Today, I have a variety of tasks, all aimed at making LA Valley College the community’s resource for education, training, and personal growth. One task I especially enjoy is assisting Child Development majors on their quest to become preschool teachers by obtaining a State Permit in Child Development. Perhaps you share this goal. If so, come by to speak to me in Bungalow 13. I’m available by phone at (818) 947-2539 or (818) 710-4370. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
My mother always said that I was born with a book in my hands. Ever since I remember, I loved education. When I was only three years old, I begged my parents to send me to the country school with my older brother who at that time was in first grade. After a lot of convincing, the teacher accepted me in her class and let me borrow one of her books to take home. I still recall the very distinct smell of that book and the brilliant yellows of its cover. I learned to read and write using that precious book. With constant use, it was all worn out. I recollect feeling very embarrassed when I returned it to my dear teacher. Soon after that, I went to live with my aunt in Bogota to finish my education, but I returned every summer vacation to my first school to teach the children how to read and write.
One day, I decided to come to the United States on vacation. It was such a good experience that I decided to stay and go to school to learn English. My first formal English classes were at Los Angeles Mission College where I had very dedicated teachers who guided me into the Credit Program. I graduated with an Associate degree in Spanish and Child Development. Then, I transferred to California State Northridge to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and Spanish and a Master’s degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education with a TESOL component. I taught Spanish at California State Northridge. I also taught subjects such as Chicano Studies, English as a Second Language, Literacy for adults, and Computers at the college level.
I am very proud to have worked with specially funded programs, such as Career Pathways and Women in Construction. Also, I directed the Literacy in the Native Language Program during the Amnesty days and the Bilingual Expressway Project which helped foreign professionals to integrate into the United States job market. Now, I am very fortunate to work with the Continuing Education Program at Los Angeles Valley College in the capacity of Community Liaison and ESL instructor. Throughout my career in education, my students have given me great satisfactions when I see them achieving their goals. I think the best way to summarize the way I feel about my career is to use a quote from the very famous motivational speaker Les Brown, “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.”
After graduating high school I attended Los Angeles Valley College and majored in Liberal Arts. My goal was to become an elementary school teacher. While attending college, I worked as a teacher’s assistant at Erwin Street Elementary School. In this capacity, I was assigned to work with second graders. After three years of working, and enjoying every minute of it, the principal offered me a position as an Early Childhood Associate with the Hand-in-Hand program which was funded by the State. This job gave me the opportunity to work with children individually.
After leaving Erwin Street Elementary School, I received my Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from Los Angeles Valley College and transferred to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and majored in Sociology (Social Welfare). At the same time I applied for a job at Los Angeles Valley College CalWORKs program. This program introduced me to new opportunities for advancement.
On May 2003, I graduated from CSUN with a bachelor’s degree in social welfare. Immediately after that, I became a Program Specialist at Los Angeles Valley College. This new position opened a variety of opportunities and experiences. As a result, I decided to continue my education in a master’s degree program in Public Administration.
Currently, I work at the Continuing Education Department as an instructor of Computer Technology in the Workplace. I enjoy working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Determination, Perseverance, and the desire to learn new things have challenged me to complete the Master’s in Public Administration Program at CSUN.
Coming from an immigrant family, who migrated from Armenia, I know how hard it is to learn a new language and to find necessary resources to survive in a new country. Growing up and dealing with all the barriers that my family and I faced when we first relocated, made me develop an interest of helping people who are trying to adapt to changes and who are from different cultures. After finishing high school, I attended Valley College where professors gave me the confidence to move forward in reaching my dreams. I graduated with an Associate in Arts Degree in Office Administration and transferred to California State University of Northridge majoring in Sociology. During my studies at the university, I started working at Los Angeles Valley College as a tutor. I earned my Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology and just recently finished my Masters Degree in Public Administration.
Currently, I am working as a Citizenship/ESL Program Specialist and as an ESL Civics Instructor. Throughout the last twelve years I have held various positions at Los Angeles Valley College, ranging from student tutor, to program specialist and instructor.
Throughout all my education and work experience the focus of my attention was not just to learn how to help community members, but also educate people about the importance of education in their lives.
I was born in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Armenia. After I graduated from high school there, I came to United States full of desires and hopes. I want to accomplish many goals, which seem to be difficult, but I am willing to tackle challenges head on.
I came to this country three years ago without speaking any English. It was very hard at first, but when I attended ESL classes at Los Angeles Valley College, communicating in English became easier for me. Those classes were very helpful. After a year, I took credit courses at Valley College. I decided to major in the medical field. Since I was a child I have dreamed of becoming a medical doctor. I wanted to make my patients healthy and happy. While studying at Valley College, I have met a lot of nice people, who have helped me to adapt to changes in a new country.
I started as an ESL student, and now I am working at Los Angeles Valley College in the Continuing Education Office. This is a program, which can help students with their needs. It made me develop an interest in continuing my educational path. Education is the most important thing in my life. Currently, I am working on my Associate’s degree with the thought of transferring to UCLA in order to go to medical school. Hopefully, one day I will reach my goal and my dream is going to come true.