MY CITRUS STORY – Adriana Acosta
It wasn't that I was a poor student when I graduated from Bishop Conaty High School; I just struggled with the way many of my courses were taught. Things just never seemed to be explained adequately. In fact, I grew accustomed to the fact that things were not always the way they appeared. Too often there was some vital piece of information missing that simply left me confused instead of informed. Had I not been raised by an industrious, inspirational single mother who always tried to help me connect the dots, I doubt if I would have done as well as I had. Even so, I felt it was my duty to succeed—and to help pave the way for my two younger sisters to succeed as well.
Although I wanted to attend a four-year university, I enrolled at Citrus College in order to get a solid education at a reasonable cost. However, my test scores in English placed me in the Basic Skills program. As ambitious as I was to transfer and move on, I was not thrilled about taking Reading 19, Reading 99, English 30 and English 40. I thought my knowledge of reading, grammar, and composition was advanced enough to get by, but secretly I knew I hated reading and writing so I went along and signed up for the classes. I was surprised to discover I didn’t know as much as I thought. More importantly, I discovered my professors were interested in my succeeding in these courses. In the span of three semesters I made incredible progress.
I began to enjoy reading and writing. I grew in competence and excelled with confidence in not only my English coursework, but in all my classes. I became proficient enough to join the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program in the English division where I helped students master the basic things I learned here. More than anything, I assisted professors in reaching out to students so they can try new approaches, change their perspectives, and enjoy reading and writing as much as I do now. It's wonderful to be able to help students who struggle as I once did.
Today, I am on the verge of receiving my associate degree and transferring to Cal State Fullerton. My experience in the SI program has helped me grow as a person as well as a student—and opened my eyes to the possibility of even becoming a teacher. Certainly I've grown far more comfortable with the fact that while life isn’t all it appears to be, it can become much more than I ever expected it to be.
I will always be grateful to Citrus for helping me become a confident student and preparing me to take on any academic challenge with assurance and enthusiasm.
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