Thursday, May 18, 2017

Life after high school: An EL student's success story

Vanessa Wallace, left, with Central High School
EL teacher Connie Swenson
Vanessa Wallace, Central High School class of 2007, visited Mrs. Swenson and Ms. Droney's advanced English Learner classes this spring to tell her story as a Central High School EL alumna. When Vanessa and her family arrived in Manchester from Colombia 12 years ago, she started at Central as a junior. She described to students her struggles and successes, her determination and persistence, and expressed her gratitude for teachers who believed in her.

After graduating from Central, Vanessa attended the University of New Hampshire, where she earned a B.S. in business administration and B.S. in international affairs in 2011. She continued her education at UNH and received a masters in administration in 2013.

Vanessa is now married, has two children, and is an accountant at BAE Systems. There, she also serves as VP of Activities for HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement), and she is a company-trained emergency responder.

Vanessa Wallace with Central students
Josefa Lopez, Estefani Rodriguez, and Mynor Yoc 
During her presentation to Central's current EL students, Vanessa encouraged them to get involved in school programs and clubs after school. Vanessa explained the process of preparing for a job search to start her career after college, which included deciding what direction she wanted to go in: public or private accounting, the importance of family vs. career.

Thank you for sharing your story, Vanessa. We look forward to hearing from more of our graduates about their journeys after high school!

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