Angeline Guzman

Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School

Nominated in 2024

Guzman Imagine having to make a choice in the 3rd grade: continue to go to school or take care of your brother and sister. This was the stark reality of Angeline Guzman's life when she was a child. Due to substance abuse, her mother was in no shape to care for the family, so in the 3rd grade, Angeline made a decision that no child should ever have to make. She chose to drop out of school, so she could take care of her siblings. At times, she remembers locking herself and her siblings in the closet to protect them from dangerous situations. Over time, she has managed to be resourceful and acquire a cosmetologist and beauty career selling products. She has also created a family of her own with her wonderful, supportive husband of 27 years. During Covid, tragedy struck her family when her teenage son died of chronic lung and Covid-related complications. For a while, Angeline experienced some depression, then she decided to return to school to earn her high school diploma. Since January of 2023, the Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School has served as a safe haven for her. Although she looked like a deer in headlights on the first day of Mrs. Gevirtzman's LA2A class, she slowly began to gain confidence earning high school level scores on her CASAS tests, earning six Extraordinary Student awards for her outstanding, admirable work in class, and also becoming a positive, inspirational leader to her classmates. In the celebratory ceremonies in class, Angeline isn't afraid to show how proud she is of herself by strutting around and doing boxing moves as she glows in the spotlight of all that she has accomplished, and she insists on taking a class picture and a boomerang video to commemorate the day. During the CTE Job Fair at Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School in 2023, she took the initiative to earn a job as a home care giver for Living Well organization. She had gained experience with the tasks while caring for her son with disabilities at home. When she demonstrated these skills to the organization in an interview, they instantly wanted her to work for them. She has earned the respect and gratitude of many patients who specifically requested her due to her kindness, patience, and expertise. Currently, she is preparing for her future job as an LVN by continuing to pursue her high school diploma as she takes ELA, Math, and Government classes while simultaneously seeing her cosmetology clients, running her Mary Kay independent business, and caring for her family. Angeline is an avid traveler and a lover of life. She appreciates the little things like the sight of dew drops on a calla lily in the early morning, something she was unable to do when she had to hide in the closet as a little girl. It is for all these reasons that Angeline Guzman should be highly considered for the OTAN Student Succeed Award. She has truly demonstrated how one can take advantage of all the opportunities that the adult school has to offer and successfully pursue one's dreams.
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