Elsa Martinez: San Bernadino Adult School

Elsa Martinez, Bilingual Clerk II - A Shining Success from the Southern Section

In 2009, when the recession hit hard, everyone in the working world was touched by it. This was definitely the case for Elsa Martinez. Providing the main source of income for her husband and 2 children, she had worked long and hard hours at a steel construction company, until 2009 found her laid off as the company was forced to shut its doors, due to the economy.

Elsa suddenly found herself with no income, and as luck would have it, she was also pregnant with her third child, a daughter. Not knowing what to do and not being sure where she could find work, she stayed at home and went about the business of raising a family and struggling to make ends meet. It was a very difficult time for their family, but it did offer plenty of time for Elsa to think about what she needed to do to make sure that they never ended up in this situation again. She decided to go to school and develop some new skills. She enrolled at the San Bernardino Adult School, in the Keyboarding, Microsoft Office, Business Skills, Excel, Word, and QuickBooks classes, where she poured everything she had into her studies. Her goal was to earn certificates in both Office Assistant, and Accounting Clerk, but while she was going to school and pressing forward, life at home was becoming more and more stressful due to the lack of finances. She knew a decision had to be made. 

One of the teachers at the Adult School had told the class that Amazon was just settling into San Bernardino and was looking to hire 700 workers. She knew she needed that job but was also torn about giving up her educational pursuits. She confided in one of her teachers that she was truly struggling with knowing what to do. Her family needed that income, and she really didn't want to leave school for fear of not being able to return. The teacher encouraged her to do what was best for herself and for her family and that the school would be waiting when she was ready to return. So she said good bye and went to work at Amazon.

With her computer skills, she quickly advanced to a position of "Problem Solving," making a nice wage, with good benefits. She remained at Amazon for 3 years and got everything at home back in balance. Not being one to rest on her accomplishments for long, Elsa began placing applications and resumes at various other places. In her heart, she said she always hoped she could work for a school. While job searching in the mornings, she continued her Amazon job at night. She laughingly said she believes she slept through her first two or three morning job interviews, but then one day, she received a call to interview for San Bernardino City Schools. As tired as she was, she nearly blew it off, but something inside her told her to go, so she did.

This time she was at least mostly awake as she answered the various questions about skills, character decisions, etc., and then the interviewer said the magic words, "If you were to be hired, you would be working at the San Bernardino Adult School", at which point, Elsa became wide awake and completely focused. She exclaimed with great joy and pride, "I love the Adult School, I got all my training at the Adult School!" Needless to say, the interviewing principal was happy to see an alumnus so excited about the possibility of returning to the school as an employee. Elsa was hired as a Bi-Lingual Clerk II. She is currently working in the assessment and data collections office and has gone on to earn her certificate in GED test proctoring. She credits her teachers and the staff at the adult school for having the insight to know what she needed and to directing her path by making her feel as though she would always have a home at the school. Elsa says she truly believes that God's will brought her to the Adult School. We are all blessed that He did.