Isaac Reyes Hernandez

Mt. Diablo Adult Education

Nominated in 2022


Isaac Reyes Hernandez migrated to the United States from Mexico in 2002. He started attending the daytime Mt. Diablo Adult Education (MDAE) English as a Second Language Program to learn to speak English. While he was attending classes during the day, he was also working eight hour shifts at night to pay his bills. Isaac told us, "I knew that speaking in English in this country was the first step for me to succeed and continue with my education." In 2008-2009 when the recession hit, he was laid off by his employer and could only find work on the weekends. That is when he came back to MDAE to earn his high school diploma. Because his budget was tight and he had no family in the area to support him, he would come to school hungry, but he knew it would be worth it and that having a high school diploma would help him find a job, and it did.

Isaac is currently working at John Muir Hospital in the Food Services Department in the evening and attends the MDAE Career Technical Education Medical Assistant Program during the day. Recently, Isaac did a presentation during "CCAE's Leg Day" to Assemblymember Timothy Grayson's staff about how adult education helped him to become economically stable and how it is currently helping him achieve his goal of working in the healthcare field. Isaac is also serving as a Student Ambassador at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Allied Health Fair showing high school juniors the CTEC Allied Health Programs available on the MDAE campus and encouraging them to explore careers in this field.

Isaac is always ready to help other students in his class as well as other students on campus. When a Certified Nursing Assistant student was having trouble learning how to take a manual blood pressure, Isaac spent his time helping the student to learn the skill. It is this kind of selfless concern for others that shows us he will be a successful medical assistant.

Isaac represents what an adult school can do for its community. Adult schools meet students where they are educationally and help them learn the skills they need to be able to transition into college or a career training program, not only to attain economic stability, but also to achieve their personal goals. As Isaac says, "I know I want to help people and also help myself become a better human being." We think that Isaac is already a pretty terrific human being.

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