Saturday, July 14, 2018

Gustavo Rosas' Keys to Success

For Adult Education Week 2018, students from Ms.Thompson's PreGED Morning and Evening classes were asked to write about the, "Keys to Success."   Our heartiest congratulations to all participants.

Keys to Success

by Gustavo Rosas

Third Place Winner - Evening Class


Probably the first step to success is a dream.  Dreams come true all the time, but you have to land into the reality.  Then you have to convert on a short or long goal with a deadline to start the journey.
Time is the most important part of this subject, because before you start the road, you need a plan and strategy.  You need effort every day like the same way you do with life. Dedication is important too, because if you combine dedication and effort you have a clue to success.
Emphasis on what you really want to do is important also.  Patience is a virtue that not many people have. If you put a little bit of time, effort, dedication, emphasis, and patience you will be closer to success.
Sometimes you will suffer, because nothing is easy.  You will have to show that you are strong and courageous.  Like the quote says, “No pain, no gain.” Once you have achieved what you proposed, you will feel proud and successful for your achievements.
One of the most important key to success is, “Perseverance.”  You can be persistent in what you really love or are interested.  Like education, that’s a priority in our lives and is a complement to success.  In conclusion, we need to focus on priorities and move step by step to achieve the success.  

Adriana Leite's Keys to Success

For Adult Education Week, students from Ms.Thompson's PreGED Morning and Evening classes were asked to write about the, "Keys to Success."   Our heartiest congratulations to all participants.


   Education is a Hope
by Adriana Leite

Education is a hope because I believe that Education can change our life.  It can do this by reducing violence, providing more jobs for everybody, giving people a good quality of service, and a better future.

When I was a child, I could not go to school regularly, so I was sad and unconfident.Two years ago, my husband and I moved to the United States. He was transferred from his company in Brazil to here. I didn't speak English, so it was so difficult for me to do simple stuff, like go to the doctor, or to the grocery store.  

My husband encouraged me to take English classes, and, at the first it was difficult, but now I can  go anywhere and do all my stuff. I can have a nice conversation with my neighbors, go shopping, make plans for the future here. I have a plan to go to College and be a cosmetologist.  I'm really proud of myself!

Education for me  is the key for a better life and a better world. The life without education is like a tea without sugar .

This is really good!  Great job; welcome back!!








Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wendy Samayoa's Graduation Speech: The Difference is Determination

Wendy Samayoa accepts her diploma
from SMUHSD Trustee Linda Lees Dwyer

Wendy Samayoa shares the speech she gave at the San Mateo Adult School 2018 Graduation.


Prepare to be inspired!

There is a Spanish quote that sums up feelings and thoughts at this moment “La direfencia entre lo possible y lo impossible esta en la determination de una persona.”  “The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in the determination of a person.” Hello My name is Wendy Samayoa and I am here because of my determination!!
This is an evening that marks the end of an important stage in my life.  My road to educational success has not been easy as it has not been for others here tonight.  I’m from Guatemala. When I was a child my parents got divorced and my mother made the decision to come to the United States, while my father and I remained in Guatemala. I was raised by my grandparents and my aunt, along with my two sisters.   My early education from elementary school to high school was very successful. I knew from very early on I wanted to be teacher. Knowing what I wanted to do I was determined to succeed.
I enrolled at the local university and graduated as a Professor. After I graduated from the university, I started my Master’s degree in Psychology. Then my road to success became more difficult. I was unable to finish my degree because of the violence and political turmoil that was going on. Being constantly threatened and no longer feeling safe I decided to come to the United States.  My heart remains in Guatemala but my road to my success is in America.
I came to the United States in July 2016 to live with my mother. The transition from Guatemala to the United States was much more difficult than I could have imagined   At that time my English skills were very poor and as a result I could not get a job here. It was very important that I improve my English skills before continuing my education.  We looked into enrolling at CSM but I could not afford the tuition fee at that time. Determined my mother and I continued to search for the right school. My mother suggested that I could go to San Mateo Adult School and enroll in ESL classes.
I enrolled in High Intermediate ESL level in fall of 2016.  The first semester was difficult since I had a hard time communicating with other students in English   Soon my English communication skills improved and my confidence in learning returned. Choosing to return to school was a hard decision that changed my life but I wanted to continue my studies and determined to earn a degree in this country.  I was told that the Adult School offered a High School Diploma Program. This program was entirely different than ESL because you need to pass required academic courses to earn a High School Diploma. Many of the courses I took in high school in Guatemala were not transferrable in the US so I needed to make up 30 credits.  This has not been easy, there were times I wanted to give up my educational dreams and just go to work. But with the assistance and guidance of the High School Diploma staff I am now a high school graduate ready to start the next chapter in my life. I want to give a special thanks to Carlota, Mr Beall, Ms. Thompson, Mr. Creegan, Frantz and George for always encouraging me to continue my education and share my success with others.
My confidence and determination has instilled in me to be a role model to other students who have had or has similar difficulties in life. In the summer of 2017, I joined the school’s Ambassador Program, a position which I continue to hold today. In fall 2017, I ran for the Student Council President position and won. I have been a pioneer in two San Mateo Adult School pilot programs: ESL City Government Academy, and the ESL Eat Healthy Be Active Community Health Program. This Summer I am volunteering as a teacher’s aide in a Low Beginning ESL class.
I met my first long term goal and will finally receive my High School Diploma. My short term goals are to continue to improve my English skills, and go to community college next year.  And now, my second long term goal is to be a teacher here in the United States.
I would not be here tonight speaking in front of you without saying thank you to those who have always been by my side. Thanks God, my mom, my family, my teachers and my friends, thank you for supporting me in my decisions even when you did not agree with them. THANK YOU is not enough to express what I feel, this mixture of sadness, happiness and satisfaction to reach the goal.  And to all other graduates here tonight be proud of what you have accomplished and continue to follow your dreams.

So… remember “La direfencia entre lo possible y lo impossible esta en la determination de


una persona.”  “The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in the

determination of a person.”



Thank you, Wendy, for inspiring us to choose courage, effort, and persistence.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Wellness Tabling Fair

There are many resources in the community to help us be healthy in mind, body, and relationship.

YMCA Representative giving out information to students



On June 27th, SMAS held a Wellness Tabling Fair so morning students could learn about some of these resources.   In the Fall, there will be a similar event for evening students. 

Both students and staff learned a lot.  Each of the organizations offers ways to be strong and healthy.

Here are the resources represented at the Tabling Fair:


StarVista is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of children, young people, adults, and families across San Mateo County. StarVista offers unparalleled counseling, prevention, early intervention and education resources and services to more than 34,000 people from diverse communities throughout San Mateo County every year, creating opportunities for healthier, stronger, and more hopeful lives.

San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) provides a broad spectrum of services for children, youth, families, adults and older adults for the prevention, early intervention and treatment of mental illness and/or substance use conditions.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Mateo County (SMC) is a non-profit organization which offers support, education, compassion and practical experience, to anyone needing to educate themselves about mental illnesses and their treatment for themselves or a loved one in San Mateo County.

The San Mateo County Pride Center was born of the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community over the years and stands for equity, inclusion, dignity, self-determination, and justice. Over a decade in the making, the Pride Center is the first ever LGBTQ+ community center in San Mateo County. Whether seeking behavioral health services or gathering in solidarity with others to share stories, build relationships, learn, grow, create, and heal together, LGBTQ+ individuals and communities throughout the Peninsula finally have a space to call their own!
Our health and wellness facility offers everything you need to get well and stay well. With an indoor-heated pool, Y Kids childcare, and a deep offering of programs and group exercise classes, we are leading the community in youth development and healthy living.



CORA is the only agency in San Mateo County solely dedicated to helping those affected by intimate partner abuse. From counseling, to emergency housing, to legal assistance, our services are designed to provide safety, support, and healing.

SMAS Acts to Help Victims of Volcanic Eruptions in Guatemala

SMAS Acts to Help Others

San Mateo Adult School Student Council organized a benefit to help Guatemalan people hurt by the recent volcanic eruption.  The event was held on June 30th at morning and evening break times. 

Many People Helped
Volunteers at the Bake Sale Fundraiser

The Student Council organized and led the event.  Many people worked together to make it happen.  Some people advertised the event.  Some brought in baked goods.  Some helped sell them.  Some cleaned up.  Some gave donations.  It was a team effort.

A Big Success

The fundraiser collected $2151.76 in donations.  Donations will be made to Catholic Relief Services and the MaryKnoll Sisters who work directly with the people. Thank you to everyone for their kindness, compassion and generosity in making this a successful event!


Morning Student Council President Wendy and others at the fundraiser

Morning Student Council President Wendy
at the sale with a sign asking people to donate




A student enjoying a delicious treat from the sale
Alt text:  Smiling man with muffin


Donations helped others and
the baked goods were delicious.
Alt text:  Many in checked shirt with
plate of baked goods.