As adult education professionals, we often do what we do to elevate, encourage, educate, and empower our students. Yet, generally, most of us focus on what we are assigned, with little thought about the long-term impact on the lives of the students we encounter. If we are lucky, it is only in later years, after our students have left us, that we hear how they are faring. So often, we stumble upon former students at their workplace or going about their lives, more confident and empowered than we remember them. In the case of Ms. Edith Moreno, her creativity bloomed during her first time in our school. Such are the moments that fill our hearts with joy and gratitude for the occupation we have chosen.
Edith Moreno is one such student who unearthed her inner creativity in a Language Arts class in 2019 through the original pieces of writing she did, namely, "Lady Lavan" and "Through the Fire." In the Bridge to Success-Language Arts class at Corona-Norco Adult School, she met Mr. Belcher. He helped her unearth her love for learning, her innate creative mind, and eventually, her discovery of self-worth and freedom of choice to live a dignified life.
Edith’s speech at the CCAE South Coast / Southern Section Conference at Palm Springs on November 19, 2022, is evidence of her journey. A journey that led her to escape an abusive relationship, overcome the challenges of homelessness with her eight-year-old son during the pandemic, and rebuild a life of freedom and a voice that empowers other women in her community. Ms. Moreno volunteers as a public speaker for a non-profit organization that supports women in shelters. Her message is, “It’s perfectly okay to be imperfect,” the Kintsugi philosophy of embracing the flawed or the imperfect. (from Edith Moreno’s speech.) - Submitted by: Thoibi Rublaitus
Edith's comments after speaking at the South Coast/Southern Section Conference in Palm Springs:
Good night Ms. Michelle I hope you are doing well. A new week started and I'm starting to asking myself what's next? I don't know what's next but today I'm happy and grateful with the beautiful life who's surrounding me. I'm sending this email just to thank you for opening the doors to a new world for me and my son, thank you for the hotel, dinner and for the opportunity to be part of the great celebration. At the end of the celebration I was looking for you but I didn't find you. My son brought great memories and lessons. Since we left home in 2019 he refuses to talk about our situation with others, he's still in the process. He told me back home: Mom, I'm proud of you, everyone stood up for you, oh man!! I loved the food, the hotel.