Mt. Diablo Adult Education
Nominated in 2020
Lizbeth Caracas is a wife, mother, full-time manager of a bakery and now, a 2019 high school equivalency graduate! Lizbeth joined Mt. Diablo Adult Education and entered the high school equivalency program in August of 2018. Her attendance was excellent, which was impressive for a woman who worked full-time and had a family, but it was how she inspired other students that really impressed our teachers. She encouraged students who were struggling and gave them the extra push they needed to keep going. Our ASE/HSE department motto is “Never Give Up.” Lizbeth took this a step further to “Never Give Up and Make Sure No One Else Does Either!” Lizbeth’s inspirational leadership was especially surprising knowing that when she came to the program’s orientation, she was scared herself. Lizbeth’s motivation and determination were impressive, but it was her inclusive leadership style that made her stand out.
Lizbeth has an eight-year-old daughter who she says is her inspiration. Lizbeth volunteers in her daughter’s third grade classroom at Gregory Gardens Elementary School for four hours a day, at least twice a week. On the evenings that Lizbeth did not have classes, she and her daughter would do their homework together. Lizbeth said that this was a special time for both of them. She wanted to be a role model for her daughter showing her the importance of education, imparting her desire for learning and setting the example of doing more than what is expected of you.
In the winter term of this year, her daughter had two surgeries only weeks apart. Although medically she was not treated for life-threatening problems, all surgeries are serious and frightening when they are happening to your eight-year-old daughter. Lizbeth took care of her daughter and continued to study for her HSE certificate. She said that it was important that she did not quit because she wanted her daughter to know that there are times in life when things are difficult and you struggle, but those are the times that you work harder and not quit.
Lizbeth has enjoyed her time at Mt. Diablo Adult Education. She loved her teachers and appreciated the structure of the program that allowed her to come to classes in the evenings and to go at her own pace. Lizbeth’s favorite subject was algebra because she said it made her think and reason her way through problems, a life skill that everyone needs. She plans to apply to Diablo Valley College for the fall semester of 2019. In her first year there, she plans to take general education classes but ultimately hopes to pursue a career in a science-related field such as computer science or nursing.
The spirit, dedication, and leadership that Lizbeth Caracas has demonstrated in our program made her a unanimous choice as our nomination for OTAN’s Students Succeed award.