Petaluma Adult School
Nominated in 2023
Siriwan is from Thailand. She married an American and came to live in the United States. When she arrived in 2016, she came to Petaluma Adult School and completed a low intermediate English class. Then, her husband passed away unexpectedly in his thirties. She was left a widow and single mother in a new country. In her English class, she learned about the U.S. Citizenship class and took advantage of the free legal assistance offered to PAS students to complete her N-400 form. She waited a year and a half for her interview but kept repeating the class so she would feel confident. In class, she told her teacher she was looking for a job that she could do while her young child was in school. The teacher had seen a local job opportunity advertised and encouraged her to apply. The coordinator of the Family Resource Center, who offers free one-on-one employment preparation support, helped Siriwan prepare a resume and practice her interview skills. The coordinator also contacted JobLink, who offered to pay for Siriwan's training if she got the job. The same week that she became a U.S. citizen in 2022, Siriwan interviewed successfully and obtained the job working 20 hours/ week in a commercial kitchen while her son is in school. She is thrilled and now has a new goal of attending culinary school so she can take on more responsibility at work. Siriwan has also returned to the U.S. Citizenship class to share her experience with other students and encourage them to keep working hard to reach their goal.