Not too many people go from high school dropout to a Masters’ program at USC. But John Noyola has done just that and the road went right through LA Trade Tech.
John’s family never placed much emphasis on education, it was always work first, so leaving high school was not considered unusual. In fact, his work ethic led him to jobs where he would work 12 hours a shift. It took some influencing from a friend, to get him to acquired his GED from the Friedman Occupational Center and that’s where he heard about LA Trade Tech. Among the first classes he took was English 21 and the instructor Roberto Mancia challenged him to focus on his educational goals and to work hard. John was especially concerned about his writing since he hadn’t been attending school for some time. But Mr. Mancia worked with him and he passed. Then came a second obstacle to transferring. That was Math 125. It was very difficult but again he finally passed on the sixth try.
At the same time, he also became one of the most influential student advocates on campus. He joined student government and eventually became a peer mentor. His calming sensibility and his knowledge of social issues made him very well respected. He became ASO treasurer and eventually vice president. He created ASO’s current structure and helped to build the influence of the Inter-Club Council. He pushed for affordable textbooks, he served on student statewide committees.
He transferred top Cal State Long Beach and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. And then was accepted into USC’s Master’s program for Educational Counseling. He says giving back makes him most happy.
John has come a long way.