Jose Luis moved to the US from Guatemala ten years ago. He attended San Mateo Adult School from 2008 to 2012. At that time, Luis had in his backpack a few books, some CD’s and several dreams despite an empty stomach. He started with Teacher Laetitia in Low Beginning ESL and finished with Teacher Elizabeth in Advanced class.
At San Mateo Adult School, Luis found people who believed in him, and the support he needed to succeed. He learned not only excellent educational lessons, but also lifetime lessons that he took to his heart until today.
From SMAS, he went to College of San Mateo. He took just a few ESL classes at CSM and then started taking regular classes. He majored in Digital Media and TV Production at CSM.
He received a Phi Theta Kappa Key scholarship. He graduated from CSM cum laude. Cum laude means with highest honors. Only 35 out of 152 students graduated cum laude at CSM that year. He had a 3.4 GPA
He will start San Francisco State University in August of 2017 and major in TV and Radio Journalism.
We works at KCSM as a producer and host of “What’s Up, San Mateo.” The show airs on Saturdays at 2 pm and covers community events. Videos of it can be seen on Youtube.
He also creates the videos needed for the CSM Excel Online course.
Q: What is the message you hope to convey through your work as a journalist?
To tell people we all have dreams and goals and all of them are possible if we set up a plan. It’s not just having a dream. It’s about how we start.
Q: Do you have any advice for SMAS students?
To learn as much as you can. Don’t take school for granted because it’s free. Make the best of it. Come and pay attention. Do your homework. Get involved in school activities and culture is very important.
Q: Successful people always someone behind him who loved and supported them. Who is that person for you?
My mom, Elizabeth Palacios. She made me the person I am. She taught me to be open-minded and humble enough to listen to advice, but also strong enough to be independent. She also corrected me. She gave me the balance I needed in life.
Q: Any last thoughts?
I will always be thankful to all SMAS stuff for being there for me and making every school day special. My achievements are theirs, too, because they are my road trip partners.