Mariely Rivas

Corona-Norco Adult School


Mariely Rivas left school in the tenth grade to help support her family. She would have chosen to stay in school as she was a good student, but her situation was such that she didn’t feel she had a choice. She took a job in retail and within two years was working as a secretary in an attorney’s office. But she knew that if she really wanted to get ahead in life she needed an education.

In 1991 Mariely started taking classes at Corona-Norco Adult School to complete her GED. She took and passed the GED and completed all her HS Diploma courses required for graduation. She excelled in all courses taken. She was selected to be class speaker at Graduation and was the proud recipient of a Scholarship from Soroptomist of Corona for the Class of 1992.

Upon completing her High School, she attended Riverside Community College. She married and had a beautiful little girl. A year later, her life changed completely. She lost her husband and was faced with the reality of now having to be a single parent. Her responsibilities grew and her priorities and outlook in life changed, Her focus in life was to be a good provider for her daughter. She painfully pushed education farther and farther away concentrating only on surviving. At this point, Mariely earned a decent living and was a good provider for her family, but something was still missing. Her goals were still set in making a difference in someone's life. She always remembered the Adult Ed staff that made a difference in her life. They gave her support and confidence in being able to accomplish anything she set her mind to, Mariely was able to improve her life by completing her high school education. Had it not been for the opportunities offered through schools like Corona-Norco Adult School, there wouldn't have been many opportunities for a twenty two year old high school drop out. When applying for different jobs, Mariely learned the rewards of having a good education that come as a result of all the learning experiences achieved through participating in an adult education program. Employers are looking for people who have a good educational background.

In the year 2000, Mariely applied to work for the Corona-Norco Unified School District. She started as a part-time clerk and is currently the Director's secretary here. She has been involved in several professional organizations, and is an elected board member for Circle City Kiwanis, RCAEOP, and Garretson PTA. She is an active member at her daughter's school. She has been on the School Site Council and represented the school at the District Site Council meetings. For the past five years she has been active in PTA by coordinating the Bi?Annual Food Drive, Founder's Day and helping with the school's newsletter. Mariely has participated in choirs, youth ministries, Eucharistic Ministries, Catechism and has served her community for the past sixteen years. Her faith and the continued support and love that she has received from her family and friends make her a stronger and more dedicated person.

Mariely also coordinates the high school graduations for the Corona-Norco Adult School and participates in the presentation of High School Diplomas at the ceremony. She represents adult education and students at the Kiwanis luncheons where students are recognized and awarded. She participates in school functions as translator to the Spanish community when necessary, always doing it serviceably and with a smile.

Her recent goal was to request that a proclamation be issued to the Corona-Norco Adult School from both the cities of Norco and Corona for Adult Education Week. She got it approved from both cities and personally received said proclamation from the mayor of Corona at the city council meeting. Mariely felt such pride and enthusiasm. She felt honored to be in the presence of the mayor and city council representing adult education. She felt this was a way to give back to a school that allowed her to be the successful and striving person that she is today. After her knees stopped shaking and she was able to swallow her fast beating heart, she was given a few minutes to speak about the school and thank all the officials for the honor. Mariely says, "This was one of the greatest moments of my life. To believe in a cause and be given the opportunity to be an advocate for said cause is one of the most meaningful moments in a person's life. Corona-Norco Adult School opened the door for my future to be a bright one. I am now a productive member of society, striving to be the best human being I can possibly be. I see everyone who walks into Adult Ed. and put myself in their shoes twelve years ago. Whether it be an English as Second Language learner, a HS Diploma or GED student, or someone who is looking to better themselves through a vocational course, everyone has a personal goal or aspiration. I commend every single Adult Education student for taking the first step in bettering their lives."

In the future, Mariely's goal is to be a teacher for Adult Education. She is currently a full?time employee and is attending Riverside Community College working to complete her degree.

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