Betty Carrillo

Twin Rivers Adult School


Fifteen year old Betty Carrillo came to Sacramento from Mexico with her family in 1990. She spoke no English, which she says was the biggest challenge she had to overcome. And overcome is exactly what she did when she was enrolled in school. She excelled at her studies, especially at learning English. But, before her senior year in high school, family finances forced her to drop out so that she could support her family.

Supporting a family for young Betty was hard work. A job at a local doughnut shop paid only enough to "just get by". Then, one day in 1994, something in the mail caught Betty's eye. Something that brought opportunity, hope and a way to do more than "just get by". It was a class schedule from Grant Adult Education. Skimming through the brochure, Betty thought to herself, "I can do this. I can earn my High School diploma."

Betty knew it wouldn't be easy. Besides caring for her mother and siblings, a divorce had left her a single mother and sole provider. Determined to have a better life, she enrolled in the High School Completion Program anyway and found a way to carve out the time she needed for study, to pay the bills, and still spend quality time with her family.

A mentor was soon found in lawyer-turned-teacher, Michael Gage, who always looks for and finds the best in his students and challenges them to reach their full potential. Betty believes his genuine concern, endless encouragement, positive attitude and high expectations helped her find the inner strength she needed to persevere during the toughest of times. As she progressed with her diploma studies, Betty added computer courses and earned certificates that helped her get a job as a bookkeeper. She was now on her way to meeting her goals and providing more adequately for her family.

Her quest for a High School Diploma enabled Betty to turn her life around. She found a career and met, head on, the grand challenges of entrepreneurship. She is the owner of a prosperous tax preparation and accounting business, Carillo's Accounting Services, and her success story was featured in a January 15, 2004 Sacramento Bee article about Adult Education. "I'm a notary, a certified income tax preparer, I own my business, and I'm going to graduate from college soon," she said in the interview. Betty received her college degree in accounting in June 2004 and smiles as she passes, on her way to her busy office, the doughnut shop where she used to work and celebrates her success. "I am running my accounting firm. I have my bachelors degree in my hands," she says, "I feel very blessed by God! My future plan is to become a CPA."

Betty Carrillo exemplifies the Adult Education success story. As a result of her learning experiences at Grant Adult Education, she was able to overcome difficult circumstances and improve her own life and the lives of those around her. Betty's family, friends, and the entire community are benefiting from her commitment to Adult Education. Her advice to others is simple, "Be persistent with your goals. Education is the key to success."

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