[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]


Almira JavierTwo years ago, on the day after Thanksgiving, Almira Javier and her family were joking around during breakfast when her grandfather had a heart attack at the table.

His sudden passing was a devastating blow to Javier and her family whose move to Valencia in 2014 was made possible thanks to his family-based immigration petition.

“He was my inspiration,” said the 19-year-old who was born and raised outside of Manila in the Philippines.

During the brief time Javier lived with her grandfather, the two became very close.

“He was diabetic and weak,” said Javier, who administered his insulin shots because her mother was afraid of needles. “He would say, ‘Oh my gosh, you have very soft hands. You are a natural!’”

Javier, who had always been interested in healthcare, took every chance to ask questions to the nurses who cared for her grandfather.

Losing her grandfather was especially challenging for Javier, who was also struggling with adapting to her new life in America.

“Making friends was hard,” said Javier who was 14 when she started attending Hart High School. “I thought being a new kid in an American school would be just like in ‘Mean Girls’ and it was.”

Although she had studied English in the Philippines, Javier hardly had the chance to practice and spoke with an accent.

“I was bullied,” said Javier. “I realized people were using me to do homework and errands. It was a bummer.”

Javier also had to learn how to navigate the American education system by herself.

“My parents didn’t know the system,” said Javier, who is the oldest of two. “I couldn’t ask anyone. All of that helped me become independent.”

Fortunately, Javier started making friends and things started clicking into place. Javier started thinking about going to college.

“I felt a lot of pressure as the first person in my family to go to college in America,” said Javier.

The main reason Javier’s parents decided to leave the Philippines was so that she and her younger sister would have more opportunities.

“My parents saw potential in us and wanted a better future for us,” said Javier. “I love my country, but there isn’t much progress.”

It was a Hart counselor who introduced her to the First-Year Promise (FYP) program at College of the Canyons that waives tuition and fees for new full-time college students during their first year of study.

After taking the college’s assessment test and FYP summer counseling class, Javier enrolled in six classes for her first semester in fall 2018.

“During my first week, I was freaking out and overwhelmed,” recalled Javier, who sought the help and guidance of her FYP counselor, Tony Law.

“I went to him every week,” said Javier. “He was so patient with me and gave me reassurance and told me about great on-campus resources like The Learning Center.”

Javier also credits COC English professor Alexandra Dimakos with helping her transition to college life as a first-generation American.

“She taught me that it’s ok to ask questions and make mistakes,” said Javier, who was enrolled in Dimakos’s First-Year Experience 100 class. “She recommended I watch TV shows with closed captioning so I can improve my English and listen to podcasts.”

Javier took her advice and began progressing in her English coursework.

“Almira stood out to me because she was the only student in class who took the initiative to speak to me frequently after class and ask me for guidance on a variety of topics like how she can improve her English skills, study strategies for earning a high grade in her biology class, creating course schedules for future semesters, and getting more involved on campus,” said Dimakos. “It was clear she was genuinely invested in her education and her own success and she was willing to go above and beyond to reach her goals. The maturity, insight, and dedication Almira demonstrated impressed me a great deal and I wish I had more students like her!”

While attending COC, Javier worked the evening shift at Marshalls and volunteered more than 200 hours at the Definitive Observation Unit at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

When asked how she managed to juggle it all, Javier laughs.

“I don’t know, but I had lots of support from my parents,” said Javier, who will be graduating on Friday, May 31 with an associate degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in social and behavioral sciences.

This summer, Javier will be applying for a coveted spot in the college’s competitive nursing program. She has already received a $500 LaVerne Harris Memorial scholarship, which she hopes to apply to her nursing studies.

Her goal is to become a registered nurse in gerontology, a decision inspired by her grandfather.

“Everything I do,” said Javier, “I do it for him.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Thursday, Aug 15, 2019
The second bond issuance of Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District general obligation bonds, were sold on Aug. 7, yielding $85 million to assist College of the Canyons in building out the Canyon Country campus and upgrading the Valencia campus.
Thursday, Aug 15, 2019
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery presents the exhibition “Carolyn Castaño: Delineando un Paisaje Femenio – Outlining a Female Landscape” just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Thursday, Aug 15, 2019
It is not too late to register for one of the more than 1,500 classes being offered during the College of the Canyons fall 2019 semester.
Monday, Aug 12, 2019
The August 14 agenda for the Santa Clarita Community College District's Board of Trustees business meeting has been posted.
Friday, Aug 9, 2019
Ending a decades-long connection, the association representing California State University faculty has severed its ties with the California Teachers Association, resulting in a significant loss in membership for the state’s largest teachers union.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]
Maureen O'Hara
If The Master's University women's volleyball team was looking for an opportunity to fold to Rocky Mountain on Thursday, it had options.
TMU Women’s Volleyball Takes Down No. 13 Rocky Mountain
The Master's University men's basketball team has signed Sam Boone, an NCAA Division 2 transfer who will add to the squad's frontcourt depth.
TMU Men’s Basketball Signs Sam Boone, NCAA D2 Transfer
A Canyon Country woman stands accused of going after a family member with a chainsaw, albeit one that was turned off, after two failed attempts to hit her intended victim with steak knives she allegedly threw.
Woman Accused of Throwing Knives, Wielding Chainsaw
Master's head coach Dan Waldeck hopes Stephanie Soares brings "immense confidence and drive" back with her after she played with the Brazilian women's national team at the Pan American Games in Peru last week.
TMU’s Stephanie Soares Wins Gold at Pan American Games
One thing volleyball player Jane Cisar appreciates about The Master's University head coach Allan Vince is his recruiting philosophy.
Vince Earns 100th Win at TMU Women’s Volleyball Coach
At nationals last year, The Master's University women's volleyball team learned what it would take to make a deep post-season run.
2019 TMU Women’s Volleyball Preview
Proving just how necessary Narcan has become in saving the lives of SCV heroin addicts, local sheriff’s deputies dispatched Thursday for an unresponsive man feared dead in the bathroom of a Stevenson Ranch restaurant watched signs of life return to the man after paramedics administered the drug.
Narcan 2 Years Later: Still Saving SCV Lives
Dante Acosta, former state assemblyman, former Santa Clarita City Council member and a director of the Santa Clarita Valley Water agency board, is moving to Texas to begin a position as district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the El Paso region.
Acosta Resigns from SCV Water, Moving to El Paso
Bridge to Home, the primary homeless services provider in the Santa Clarita Valley, invites the community to its premier annual fundraiser, "Soup for the Soul – Sera in Italia," at the Bella Vida senior center in Canyon Country on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m.
Oct. 12: Bridge to Home ‘Soup for the Soul’ Fundraiser
A six-run first inning for the Lake Elsinore Storm was too much for the JetHawks Thursday, as Lancaster lost 13-8 at The Hangar.
Lake Elsinore Storm Start Too Strong for JetHawks
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives seek the public’s assistance in locating Willie Paul Davis, a 70-year-old Valencia resident.
Missing: Willie Paul Davis of Valencia
Five people were hurt, two seriously, in a multi-vehicle pileup on Interstate 5 in Castaic early Friday morning, according to county fire department and CHP authorities.
Five Hurt in Early Morning Castaic Pileup
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control will join Los Angeles television stations NBC4 and Telemundo 52 in a "Clear the Shelter" pet adoption campaign on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aug. 17: ‘Clear the Shelters’ with Pet Adoption Discounts
Two parolees from Bakersfield arrested in Valencia last week were arraigned on multiple charges including burglary on Monday, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station reported Wednesday.
Burglary Suspects Arrested After Mall Chase Are Arraigned
Painting it as an economic threat and a cruel attack on immigrants, California sued Friday to stop the Trump administration’s new "public charge rule" that allows the government to deny green cards to people relying on some forms of public assistance.
California Sues to Block Feds’ ‘Public Charge Rule’ for Green Cards
Friday air quality is unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to the latest South Coast Air Quality Management District forecast.
Friday Air Quality Unhealthy for Sensitive People
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station's COBRA Unit detained two juveniles and one adult during a gang suppression operation on Monday.
SCV Deputies Tag 3 Suspected Gang Members in Newhall
1956 - Battle of Palmdale rages over the skies of Santa Clarita [story]
airplanes
A vegetation fire near Valencia Boulevard and Interstate 5 prompted the evacuation of College of the Canyons’ Early Childhood Education Center Thursday afternoon.
Vegetation Fire Prompts Evacuation of COC’s Childhood Education Center
Would you like for a family member or caregiver to be able to call Medicare on your behalf? Would you like a way to store all your health records in one place online, so you can quickly share them with a new doctor or other healthcare provider? How about an easy way to print a new Medicare card if you lose yours? You can do all that and more by creating a free, secure MyMedicare.gov account.
Create a Personal Medicare Account | Commentary by Greg Dill
The Transfer Rules Committee held their culminating meeting Wednesday.
Message from CIF Southern Section Commissioner of Athletics
The second bond issuance of Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District general obligation bonds, were sold on Aug. 7, yielding $85 million to assist College of the Canyons in building out the Canyon Country campus and upgrading the Valencia campus.
Second Bond Issuance of Measure E General Obligation Bonds Yields $85M
%d bloggers like this: