Fatima & Genova Hernandez: San Bernadino Adult School

Every journey starts with a simple step. For many that simple step can be one full of hesitation and anxiety. That is exactly how two sisters from Mexico, Fatima and Genova Hernandez, felt upon embarking on their educational journey at San Bernardino Adult School, in fall of 2013. Their goal was to improve their English enough to be able to find employment in the community. Now, almost two years after first setting foot in adult school, Fatima and Genova Hernandez have passed all four subject matter GED exams in English!

"We wanted to learn English. That's all," is what both sisters replied on their thoughts back to the fall of 2013 as they registered at San Bernardino Adult, "We wanted the GED but didn't know we could do it."

Their remarkable success story includes one of much dedication and endurance, as well as mutual support. Both Fatima and Genova live approximately 20 miles north of San Bernardino Adult School, in the City of Twin Peaks. For those who do not know the area, the city's location is known for its wilderness amongst the San Bernardino National Forest. The drive down and up the hill must be taken with much precaution. Despite the inclement weather that Twin Peaks and Lake Arrowhead are famously known for, this difficulty did not stop Fatima and Genova from attending class on a regular basis.

Initially, Fatima and Genova scored into the ESL Intermediate I course at the school. After completing the course they progressed onto Intermediate II. Eighteen months after their enrollment, the two sisters found themselves successfully graduating from the ESL program at San Bernardino Adult School. At this moment and in mutual agreement to keep supporting each other, both Fatima and Genova enrolled in the ABE for ESL Students course.

The ABE for ESL Students course at San Bernardino Adult School has the main objective of preparing students who have successfully graduated from the ESL program for success in GED preparation courses. As Fatima and Genova demonstrated to have enough understanding of the English language in the ABE class, Mrs. Rosa Leon Blanco, with encouragement and reassurance that much academic support would be available (tutors, extra resources and practices), promoted Fatima and Genova to the GED Test Preparation evening course with Mr. Oscar Lara. In this course, the two sisters studied side by side with other fellow ESL graduates as well as native speakers of the English language--all of whom had in common the aspiration, motivation, and mind set of passing the four components of the GED exam.

On May 29, 2015, at 6pm, Fatima Hernandez and Genova Hernandez, in company of their parents, family members, friends, classmates, and teachers, received the General Education Development (GED) Diploma!

Furthermore, with the help of the San Bernardino Adult School's College Transition Program, Fatima and Genova are ecstatically anticipating starting college in winter.

One little step does make all the difference!