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AlexSoria

Alex Soria

Alex Soria was not your typical student at MiraCostaCollege’s Adult High School Diploma Program. In fact, he wasn’t even an adult at the time.

Soria was a 16-year-old student at El Camino High School in Oceanside when he began attending the adult education campus at MiraCosta College’s Community Learning Center on Mission Avenue.

“At El Camino, I was paying more attention to the social aspects than I was to the educational aspects. My mom was working at the Community Learning Center and she thought it would be better if I went there instead.”

It changed his life. Soria, now 18, graduated in May and enrolled at MiraCosta College’s Oceanside Campus this fall. He found his calling in studying mathematics, and he plans to transfer to Cal State San Marcos upon earning his associate of arts degree.

Soria said moving to the Adult High School Diploma Program may have been the best decision he’s made in his young life. “It helped me grow,” he said. “Being surrounded by adults meant no high-school drama. I saw how mature people reacted to different situations, plus the teachers treated me like I was an adult.”

Perhaps most important was when Soria saw how people who were being given a second chance at an education didn’t take that opportunity lightly. He learned through example how important an education is.

“CLC was the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” Soria said. “It turned me from wondering what life is about to providing me with a road map to what I want to do with my life.”

MiraCosta’s is the only college-based, high school diploma program in Coastal North County. There is no tuition, and adults are able to earn a diploma within months instead of years.

Soria says that ultimately, he’d like to become a math professor, or perhaps return to the Community Learning Center to teach.

“Teaching math there would be like coming home,” he said.