School, a therapy?


Maria Valdovinos, a hardworking administrator, and mother, is on her way to taking the next step in her educational journey. As a current student of EPIC de Cesar Chavez High School, Mrs. Valdovinos plans to graduate this quarter and is looking forward to her bright new future.

Mrs. Valdovinos was born in Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico.  Her father was a cattle rancher and her mother owned a small produce store. Even though her parents didn’t make a lot of money, they both worked extremely hard to provide for their families. Maria gets her strong sense of family and her work ethic from her parents.

Maria went to school up to the 5th grade in Mexico. She quit school because she did not like seeing her mother have to work. She stayed home to help with the household and give the family support. She came to the US when she was 18 years old despite her mother's wishes. Her mother was worried that something would happen to her in a new country all alone.  She wanted to come to the US for a better life and help her family financially. 

Shortly after Maria moved to the US her mother followed, but with the tragic news of her brother's passing {33 years old}, her mother returned to Mexico. Her mother would come to visit and stay 3 to 6 months every year. 

Maria is now married with three children. Her sense of family has never left her, as she now helps her daughter with her newborn and still irons her son’s clothes since he is in the military. Mainly, she works as an administrator for her husband’s air conditioning company; this led to her looking into programs to further her education to help support the company. 

Her biggest goal in life was to take advantage of any opportunity available to learn and be successful in life. She was determined to make her parents proud and wanted to make up for the suffering of her mother when she came to the US. Her mother passed away in 2016 and six months later in 2017, her father passed away causing her to fall into a deep depression. She sought counseling, but she didn't feel it was beneficial for her.

After the death of her parents, Maria decided to enroll in classes at EPIC de Cesar Chavez High School. Maria states “school keeps my mind busy” and that EPIC has helped her cope with their death. EPIC de Cesar Chavez High offers classes at 20 locations throughout the state of California. Accreditation by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) substantiates and certifies that EPIC de Cesar Chavez High School is an educational institution where students like Maria can receive a high-quality education.  EPIC programs offer flexibility in scheduling and cater to working adults and families with language barriers, empowering Maria with the opportunity to fulfill her dream of getting a high school diploma and ultimately putting her on the path to achieve a bachelor's degree. 

“Every day has been a great experience. Although some days it was difficult because of the language barrier, my teacher Ms. Morin made it seem easy. I am so grateful a program like EPIC was accessible for me, and my teacher was so special, she was the therapist I needed." Said Maria. 

Once Maria graduates from EPIC, she plans to go to college to pursue a degree in Administration and learn computer programming to continue to assist her husband in his business. She wants to one day own her own business adding to her husband's air conditioning business.


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