The Alpha Parent Center Ups Important Confidence in Parents
By Guest Blogger Dr. Paul D. Krivonos, ACE Board
As a longtime university educator with over 40 years of teaching experience, I was moved by the recent ACE Blog about the successes of the adult students at the ACE Alpha Parent Center. Their stories about holding a job (often two jobs), going to school to pursue completing their high school education, and raising a family were very inspirational.
As a member of the ACE Board of Directors, I am proud to have had some small part in helping these students in their efforts. There are two people who have had a much greater share in assisting these students: Karen Martinez (the Manager of the ACE Alpha Parent Center) and Sergio Carreon (ESL and computer instructor). I had the pleasure of chatting with both of them about some of the insight they have into student success.
One of the most important things they brought up was for students (both the parents and their children) to define their educational goals, whether this means for further education (community college or university) or for acquiring a skill in a trade. While any path is suitable, clear goals help students follow whatever path they choose.
Karen and Sergio note that another important aspect of the learning process is for the parents to be advocates for high quality education—for themselves and their children—no matter at what level. Because navigating the educational bureaucracy can be difficult, it is important for the parents and their children to possess the skills necessary to do so.
The ACE Alpha Parent Center helps their students to gain the confidence through oral and written presentation skills and computer skills to become their own and their children’s advocates. They shared that some of the students could not read and write in Spanish, their native language, but are now learning to do so in English. Such confidence building skills is giving these students a voice.
Sergio shared a story of parent who had no computer ability, but relied on their child to do all of the computer work, including online marketing, for their landscaping business. That child is now going out of state to attend university. Prior to the computer training at the ACE Alpha Parent Center this family would have had difficulty maintaining their business and supporting themselves and their other children. With the skills they have now gained, they are able to continue with their livelihood.
The students at the ACE Alpha Parent Center face a multitude of hardships in their educational endeavors and in their lives. With the help of Karen and Sergio they are able to face these hardships with newly found confidents. Our thanks to Karen and Sergio who note that while these adult students face challenges with an attitude of sacrifice for the moment so that their children and themselves will have a brighter future.