English as a Second Language/Citizenship
Beaumont Adult School
BRIDGE TO COLLEGE AND CAREERS
From Peru to Beaumont Adult School to MSJC
Theater Major Gustavo Capucho Pursues His Dream
Like many immigrants, Gustavo Capucho, came to the U.S. for a better future---in his case, a chance to pursue acting in the States. As a young boy, he persuaded his father to move to his mother’s house in Beaumont, California, to be one step closer to an acting school in LA.
After completing his HS diploma at Beaumont HS, he enrolled in Mike Aaron’s Advanced ESL class at Beaumont Adult School. Mr. Aaron became a powerful mentor for Gustavo, not only refining his conversational English, grammar, and writing, but encouraging him to master English. “If I ever thought I couldn’t do something, Mr. Aaron was there to tell me I could,” Gustavo said. “He boosted my confidence and made me feel I could try new things.”
Denise McGregor, Associate Counselor in the Non-Credit Programs at SJC campus, met Gustavo in Mr. Aaron’s class as part of a counseling outreach program through MSJC, funded in part by the State of California Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) initiative. Ms. McGregor and Melanie Petago, College and Career Planning Coordinator at Beaumont Adult School, are partnering to implement the regional vision of bridging more adult school students into MSJC.
During Ms. McGregor’s presentation, Mr. Aaron shared Gustavo’s dream of becoming an actor and McGregor met with Gustavo after class and invited him to do a private tour and meet Theater Chair, Payden Ackerman. As the first college student in his family in the United States, Gustavo had many more questions, steps, and obstacles to overcome, including challenges in providing the requisite proofs of residency to establish his California resident status. McGregor offered to meet him on campus and walk him through the final steps of his enrollment. All the steps were worth it, as Gustavo received not only a BOG waiver for tuition, but a Pell grant for additional college expenses.
Happily enrolled in two theater classes, English 92, and a guidance course for college success, Gustavo is well on his way to not only reaching his dream, but sharing college with a younger sister in Beaumont and an older brother in Peru. His advice for other Adult Education and first-generation college students is, “No matter how many obstacles life gives you, you can succeed.”