Florentina Dedu immigrated to the United States from Romania after she married her husband, an American from California. While she was busy with studying for her driver’s license, filling out immigration papers, and trying to acclimate to her new life, her husband had a little surprise for her.
“He signed me up for MiraCosta’s Adult High School program!” she says. “He kept encouraging me to finish my high school degree, but I didn’t want to. I was frustrated with him, and I was scared that I couldn’t do it—that I wouldn’t be able to handle the language differences or that I might quit.”
Growing up in Romania, Dedu had been encouraged to do well in school but ultimately did not complete her studies, and going back to school was not top of mind. But all of that changed, thanks to her husband pushing her out of her comfort zone.
“I went to the orientation and I liked what they had to say, so I started taking classes,” she says. Naturally ambitious, Dedu chose harder classes rather than easier ones and surprised herself with her success. She was one of the top students in her math classes, and she consistently did well in her English classes.
Erica Duran, Dedu’s English teacher, describes her as a phenomenal student. “Florentina chose tough classes and she met that challenge consistently. Even if she felt discouraged, she never gave up. She went above and beyond, and she was always supportive of her classmates.”
Duran says Dedu was receptive to feedback and encouragement, and Dedu agrees. “I love school,” she says, “but I couldn’t do it without all the support I get from my husband, and from my teachers and counselors. Any time I need help, my teachers make time for me. Their dedication motivates me to push myself, to do my best.”
Dedu is glad now that her husband pushed her toward school. She’s looking forward to graduating, and going to college. “I’m interested in studying languages and just learning as much as I can.”