Apple Valley Adult School
Nominated in 2022
Melina Bezada is the adult child of two Mexican immigrants. Her mother had little education to be able to help Melina succeed in a world where academic training leads to economic success. Melina was one of nine children with two children of her own. It was her goal to complete high school, gain employment with a local school district, and learn how to navigate the college and academic systems to be able to help her children succeed in school and have access to higher education.
Melina graduated from our Diploma program and then volunteered and substituted at our campus throughout the pandemic shutdown. She voluntarily helped us remain open to provide a place for the US Census to operate and survey the cities of Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley in order to bring more funding to these very poor and underrepresented areas. This January, she was finally able to attain full-time employment at the school where she graduated with an adult diploma with her two children at her side. Ms. Bezada is also in her sophomore year at our local community college where she has been a student worker part-time as well. Ms. Bezada is on the Dean's list at Victor Valley Community College for her academic achievement. Both of her own children are now in high school and are on the honor roll every semester as she is able to help and support them. Her daughter has already received acceptance letters to two Cal State programs.
Even though she now works for our program full time and is a college student, she volunteered on February 28th to help our counselor and me canvas our local community for the point in time homeless count. Melina Bezada is also listed in CASAS national resource videos that Apple Valley Adult School made during the pandemic to encourage students to take the Employment and Earnings survey. She continues to be a model to us all of what it means to be a success.