Golden Oak Adult School
Nominated in 2017
Jodie Hoffman was a first-generation high school graduate, going to high school in the late 70’s, at a time when students were tracked: college or vocation. “I recall my counselor telling me that she knew my family didn’t have enough money for me to go to college, so I was placed on the vocational track.” Jodie shared. She was an award winning Regional Occupational Program student, excelling at typing and shorthand. Graduating high school with skills to land a job as a secretary in the insurance field she commuted to downtown LA, working full time supporting herself beginning the Monday following graduation. Stopping out to get married and have children, she quit her career, weaved together part time jobs and pinched pennies to raise her children. After several years as a homemaker, her skills had become outdated and her confidence had plummeted. Her kids in school and her marriage over, she needed a job. She went to Golden Oak Adult School and was able to quickly upgrade her skills. Armed with her new computer skills, she found a part time position at the local community college in the vocational and employee training office, and it didn’t take her long to realize she’d found her calling, helping others gain skills for employment. College felt like it was beyond her reach before but armed with the confidence gained following her success at Golden Oak Adult School, and her determination to have a bigger impact on career education, she decided to enroll in community college. “I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I knew I could only complete one or two classes at a time, and it would take me forever to finish. But I realized time passes anyway.” Her educational journey was not always consistent; Jodie knows first-hand many of the challenges adult learners face balancing work, life, family, and school.
In 2017, the twenty-year anniversary of Jodie’s successful experience as a Golden Oak student, she graduated with her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and was appointed Principal of Golden Oak Adult School. “I would not have achieved this level of success without the support of amazing mentors who believed in and encouraged me. My mission is to give back by providing strong educational programs that empower adult learners and benefit our community.”