Martha de Hoban

Bakersfield Adult School

Martha de Hoban completed high school and trained as a hospital laboratory technician in her native Colombia before coming to the United States in 2000. She had not yet learned English, but knew she would need to if she was to be successful in her new country, so she enrolled in an evening English as a Second Language (ESL) class at Bakersfield Adult School (BAS).

Martha recalls the difficulty she had as a new resident in the United States. "It was a new country and a new life, but the thing that frightened me the most was the new language. In my country my job was talking with people all the time and here I could not speak or understand English so I wasn’t able to talk to many people.

"In BAS I began to take English classes at night where I met Ms. Lorita Hubbard, my teacher and the person who encouraged me to get a U. S. high school diploma. At the age of 37, it was hard for me to start my education all over again."

Martha completed the ESL classes then, as she was encouraged to do, did enroll in the High School Diploma program and received her diploma. Encouraged once again by her teacher, Lorita, Martha enrolled in the Nursing Assistant program and became a Certified Nursing Assistant. She could now get a job working in the healthcare field. She graduated from the Nursing Assistant program with honors in 2005-06. "Ms. Lorita and all the staff at BAS worked very hard to help me succeed," recalls Martha.

She continued as a Bakersfield Adult School health careers student in the Vocational Nurse program while working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Glenwood Gardens, a local assisted living facility. In July 2009, she graduated as a member of the third Vocational Nurse class at BAS.

"During my entire course my teacher, Ms. Shirley Ray, always encouraged me to continue my education," says Martha. She credits all her teachers for giving her encouragement to continue with her studies beyond learning English and with helping her to get a job in the healthcare industry.

Throughout her studies at BAS, Martha maintained a high grade point average and received several certificates for perfect attendance. She accomplished this while working full-time, and caring for her husband and three children, ages 19, 13 and 8. Her former employer, Glenwood Gardens, recognized her professional skills, and immediately after she received her LVN license, hired her as a vocational nurse.

Martha is putting off long-term plans while she takes care of her recently injured son. Once he has recovered, she plans to pursue three long-term goals; train to become a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist, become a United States citizen, and open a small residential facility for seniors where they can receive personalized care.

"I arrived in the U. S. when I was 37 years old," says Martha. "I believe that no matter what age [you are] if you want [to do something] you can do it"

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