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Whittier Union High School District To Achieve and Maintain Excellence...

Adult School Student Finds New Calling

Whittier Union Adult School works to build communities one success story at a time, finding ways to match students’ passions with quality wage employment opportunities.

At Whittier Union and its surrounding elementary school districts, for instance, instructional aides are in high demand. So too is the District’s commitment to training adult school students and hiring them upon completion of their program.

One such student is Lydia Chavez, a former emergency room patient care assistant at PIH Health (formerly Presbyterian) Hospital-Whittier who enrolled in the Adult School’s Instructional Aide certificate program in August 2019.

After many years at PIH, the 58-year-old mother of three enrolled in the Adult School’s six-week program, which places an emphasis on students with disabilities.

“My heart goes out to our kids, and I want to help out however I can,” said Chavez, whose disabled son, a California High School graduate, passed away in 2010. “It’s my calling.”

The program includes courses on disability awareness, math prep and high school reading to pass the Instructional Aide exam. Over the course of the program, Chavez developed the skills needed to assist teachers in the classroom and students with a variety of disabilities, setting her on the path to a new career as an instructional aide.

Upon earning certification, Chavez applied for an instructional aide position at Whittier High School and was hired in December. She now provides one-on-one support to a Whittier High student throughout the day, accompanying the student to class and helping enhance their learning through various academic and behavioral strategies.

“My experience at Whittier Union Adult School was wonderful,” Chavez said. “They are dedicated to seeing you succeed and the staff at Whittier High could not be more supportive. We are one big family.”

Learn more about the Instructional Aide certificate program in the Whittier Union Adult School Spring 2020 schedule of courses. Spring term begins March 9.