Esther, a woman working for Peninsula Family Service as part of the Second Careers Program, has recently gone back to school. In order to support her studies, Noviaris supplied her with a laptop.
My name is Esther. I’m an administrative assistant here at Second Careers Program, Peninsula Family Service, and I’ve been here since April . Prior to coming here, I was an independent contractor for the county of San Mateo. It was a job I loved very, very much.
I’m an alumna of the College of San Mateo, and I’m currently taking a Saturday Spanish class there. Since everything is required bilingual now, that Spanish class will come in handy. Also, on Fridays, the second careers program is helping me go to computer class at the San Mateo Adult Resource and Technology Center. This is all to better my education, but also to get ahead in work and learn new skills.
I went back to school after my partner passed away. My children’s father was killed in an accident in 2005, and I stayed very depressed for two years. Then I decided to just get up one day, and I decided I’m going to go to school. It took me to lose hope to find hope. I’ve never stopped educating myself ever since.
I wasn’t a good student in my younger years, and going back to school was always something I dreamt of doing. I was always fearful asking questions or asking for help. I struggled in school with learning disabilities, and I found out in college that I had a learning disability in math. I was granted documentation explaining this, and I just decided I’m going to try to achieve an associate’s degree regardless of any disability, which I did. I have one in social science and one in human services. I am also a certified community health worker.
I want to be able to get my bachelor’s very bad. Getting a master’s at one point may be just a dream but I want to at least be able to achieve a bachelor’s degree. I love school. My kids are very proud of me, and I always tell them never stop learning, I remember when I went back to college I thought to myself, ‘I’m older now, I really don’t need to do this,’ and then I read an article in the paper of a woman who was in her nineties and got her bachelor’s degree! I said right there and then that I’m not going to give up, I’m just going to keep trying to learn something new every single day.
I spent a lot of time in the public library since I did not have my own computer. What I liked about it was that the library’s open very late and on weekends, but what was inconvenient was there’s no privacy. Not having your own computer at home made it very difficult to study and write essays. However, I am grateful. I’m very grateful to have public libraries there for people who do not have these tools at home. I was able to do reports, I was able to do homework that was needed, write essays, things that were needed for work. I’ve always used the internet to look for resources regarding things that I’ve needed over the years.
For me, using technology was a slow start. Everybody around me has got all these new toys, they have phones, and they have these watches, and they have this and they have that. It’s very scary, because it’s going to keep changing, it’s going to keep growing. I feel like I have this limited time to learn this, but I just try to remain humble and ask for help if I don’t understand something. I try to remain as humble as possible, and ask those younger than me, including my own children. And it’s very hard to be over fifty and ask for help. What Noviaris is doing for people is a blessing. I am so grateful to have met you. This laptop will come in handy while furthering my education.
Thank you again, I am truly grateful.