Norma Tellez: Montebello Community Adult School

Norma Tellez has always envisioned having a career in law enforcement. She wants to be a positive role model by helping and protecting the people of her community. When Norma first moved to the United States at the age of 16, this career path seemed like it would always be just a dream. She had no friends or family in this country and had to figure out how to support herself without understanding English or having papers to legally work. At the age of 19, she had her son and knew it was time to get educated.
 
Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, there was a fire in Norma that always made her move forward to work toward improving her situation. She enrolled at Ford Park Adult School to learn English, though with work and a young child, attending class was challenging at times. Once her son was old enough for school, she began attending full time and completed all six levels of ESL. From there, she transferred into the High School Diploma Program.
 
Because Norma was undocumented, she had many jobs in which she was taken advantage of, underpaid, and poorly treated. She endured these hardships because she needed to put food on the table and a roof over her son's head. Norma has an amazing spirit and used these experiences to fuel her desire to improve her small family's life. She knew that education was the key.
 
Because of her work schedule, Norma could only attend her high school classes at night. Not having anyone to watch her son, she brought him with her. He became a fixture in class, doing his homework alongside his mother and going to sleep under her desk when he grew tired. Seeing Norma and her son together was inspiring. They were truly a team. She would explain to him that while times were hard now, they were temporary, and if they could just work together and help each other, she would make a better life for them.
 
With tremendous dedication, Norma completed all of her credits and in June 2016 graduated from high school at the top of her class. Her intelligence, positive attitude, and hard work didn't go unnoticed. Norma received the Henke Family Trust Scholarship, the biggest scholarship awarded by Montebello Community Adult School, in order to further her education.
 
Shortly after receiving her high school diploma, Norma achieved another milestone in her life. She obtained her work permit in the United States. Able to work legally and armed with her diploma, Norma quickly received an entry-level job with growth potential at a local company. She then enrolled in the Protective Services program at Ford Park Adult School, which she has since completed with glowing recommendations from her teachers. With this new certification, after completing six months with her current job, she will have the opportunity to transfer into the security department which will offer a livable wage, benefits, and a retirement package.   In addition, Norma has applied with the Sheriff's Department and passed her written test. With perseverance, passion, and determination, Norma Tellez proves that dreams can become reality!