From ESL to National Adult Honor Society:
MiraCosta Adult High School Student Jose Navarrete
Jose Navarrete was born in Encinitas, California but he was raised in Queretaro, Mexico. Like many children in Mexico, Navarrete worked in a supermarket to help support his family without much thought about continuing his education. But as he grew older, Navarrete wanted to find a supportive environment where he could earn his diploma, learn career-focused skills, and create a better future for himself and his family.
When Navarrete was 18 and ready to venture out on his own, he returned to Encinitas and got a job working in a car dealership detailing cars. Navarrete wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in his next career, but he knew he needed to find a program where he could learn new skills.
"My aunt recommended classes for adult learners at MiraCosta College," Navarrete states. "It was the perfect chance to find a new path."
In Fall 2021, Navarrete enrolled in the college’s free English as a Second Language classes to improve his English language and communication. Since then, he's moved on to MiraCosta’s Adult High School program and, as of fall 2022, is halfway to earning his high school diploma and preparing for his next career.
"It took me two years to learn English, but I'm glad I did it," Navarrete says. "I've had a great experience in my classes."
Like many adult learners who choose to return to high school or college to continue their education, Navarrete had mixed feelings of excitement and fear. In class, he struggled with anxiety about public speaking and found it challenging to participate in conversations with his professors and peers. Entering a new environment spiked his insecurities and made learning a new language especially tough.
"Even though I would know the answers, I would never say anything in class. I felt intimidated, and the words just wouldn't come out of my mouth," Navarrete explains.
But Navarrete did not have to face these obstacles alone. He relied on family support, including his aunt, who supported his education journey from the beginning, and his hardworking parents, who made sacrifices to help Navarrete create a better future for himself.
"When I earn my high school diploma, I will be one of the first in my family to do so," Navarrete says. "My family inspires me to be brave and keep moving forward.”
Navarrete also says he appreciates the caring faculty who have built up his confidence and taught him the valuable skills he will need to get ahead. Navarrete believes the best part about continuing his education at MiraCosta College has been "the helpful people who work there" who are always available to answer his questions and give career advice.
"Jose's greatest strength is communication," says Angela Senigaglia, English instructor and department chair of the Adult High School program. "He is a model student for staying in contact with his professors and reaching out to give updates on assignments or to check in on his progress."
Navarrete was awarded a certificate from the National Adult Honor Society in fall 2022 for his participation in ESL and Digital Media Production classes, a nomination he received from his favorite professor, Tony Hickman. For Navarrete, it was a "reminder of my hard work and more motivation to keep going."
Navarrete has taken online classes for about three years. He spent his first two years in ESL classes and his final year in the Adult High School program. "At first, it was difficult working on my own," Navarrete explains, "but I've gotten more support than I expected."
Navarrete's counselors and professors are always willing to help in the Adult High School program. From enrolling in classes, providing tutoring, and giving tips for stress management, Navarrete has received helpful support whenever he has needed it. Today, online classes are his greatest strength.
"I take flexible classes that fit with my work schedule, and I finally feel comfortable asking my professors for help," Navarrete says.
Navarrete plans to continue taking classes at MiraCosta College to prepare for better opportunities, get a better work schedule, and earn higher pay. He's enjoying his journey of learning a new language and getting on track to a successful future.
"It's a good idea if you're interested in learning English or earning your high school diploma," Navarrete explains, "I've had a great experience."
To learn more about the continuing education classes and support services offered by MiraCosta College, please visit miracosta.edu/continuingeducation/