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Public Support of San Diego Promise Gives Adult Students A Second Chance

San Diego Continuing Education Students selected for San Diego Promise are pi...

Credit: San Diego Continuing Education

Above: San Diego Continuing Education Students selected for San Diego Promise are pictured in this undated photo.

This week San Diego Community College District rolled out its “Keeping The Promise” campaign. It’s an effort to raise money for San Diego Promise, so more students can take part in the district's community college tuition program. The district raised more than $27,000 during the one-day call for donations.

San Diego Promise covers tuition expenses and also helps with books for qualifying full-time students.

Listen to this story by Ebone Monet.

Keeping the Promise is good news for the recent high school graduates and for qualifying San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) students. SDCE is the largest single source of students for San Diego Community Colleges. Lavette Arciga was one of them. In 2017 she enrolled in SDCE’s accelerated high school diploma program.

Arciga took advantage of SDCE’s Career and College Transition Center at it’s Mid-City Campus, in City Heights. She said counselors at SDCE encouraged her to apply to San Diego Promise.

Photo by Ebone Monet

San Diego Continuing Education student Marie Augustin sits in a classroom in this undated photo.

“I have not graduated yet but I’m on the right path. I wouldn’t have done it without them,” said Arciga.

Arciga turned to SDCE for its school diploma or equivalency program. Many of the program's estimated 40-thousand students take classes to gain skills towards earning a living wage or to enhance their careers. Students like Marie Augustine.

Augustine immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti after surviving the 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 230,000 people. Once in the U.S., unable to speak English, she said she was determined not to lose her career as an accountant and business analyst.

“I thought that I lost my career and my purpose because, you know, it's like I need to start over,” Augustine said. Augustine dedicated herself to learning English and developing her professional skills.

“I barely spoke and understood English, I took classes in the morning, evening and afternoon,” she said.

Augustine is now working as an interpreter for a private company that serves San Diego County.

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