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Student Success Story

Submitted By: Michele Chapman, Poway Adult School
Consortium: Education to Career Network of North San Diego County (Palomar/Vista)

Meet Rodney

Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education

The Challenge

Rodney was not your typical student. Seeing him now, no one would have known about his troubled past. Dropping out of school at the age of 13, Rodney fell into the wrong crowd, getting into drugs, joining a gang and ultimately finding himself in and out of the correctional system over the next 20 years. Finally, with help from his family and Poway Adult School, he started putting his life back together.

The Solution

Rodney began classes at Poway Adult School, one of five adult schools and Palomar College that make up the Education to Career Network of North San Diego County. Riding the bike his dad purchased for him to get to school, Rodney never missed a day. He excelled and become a role model to his fellow students and an inspiration to those contemplating going back to school. Kathleen Porter, Executive Director for Career Technical, Adult and Alternative Education for Poway Unified remembers being inspired by his joyful smile right away. “It's hard to believe that there was once a time when the dedication to learning and perseverance to succeed was not his number one priority,” said Porter.


Reaching a goal that seemed like a dream for so long, Rodney graduated with his high school diploma from Poway Adult School at the age of 37. Soon, he will be attending Calvary Bible College in Murietta to obtain a degree in theology. He plans to become a youth counselor to share his journey and help others stay on the right path. “It doesn’t matter how far gone you are,” Rodney said. “You can always pick up the pieces and succeed if you want to. It’s not going to be easy. I can tell you that. But if you want it, you can have it.”
Rodney’s story hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was recently given the “Every Student Succeeding” award by the Association of California School Administrators. They produced a video of his journey which can be viewed at the link below:

Supporting Information

Every Student Succeeding Award for Rodney