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photo of Michelle M. Hilario  

Michelle M. Hilario  

Originally Published: 4/11/2017

Michelle’s journey at LACC took her from learning English as a Second Language to majoring in English Literature and pursuing a graduate degree in teaching language skills to adult students at community colleges.

I dropped out of college in my native country of Peru and decided to move to the U.S. in pursuit of the American dream. After working for a few years in unfulfilling jobs, I realized the importance of having a career and a job that can make me truly happy. I would frequently drive by LACC on my way home from work, and I’d say to myself, “One day, one day…” Finally, I got the courage to enroll, and in 2010 I began my two-year journey at LACC.

Being an ESL student who decided to major in English was truly challenging. However, when I started taking English courses at LACC I fell in love with literature. My professors taught me that reading great works of literature was not only about reflecting on my feelings, my actions, and myself, but also about understanding other people, viewing the world from different perspectives, and thinking critically about our actions in society.

My professors at LACC also guided me and helped me build a strong academic foundation that allowed for a smooth transition to UCLA. When I transferred to UCLA, I felt confident and never doubted my capabilities as a student. In fact, I did so well that in 2014 I graduated cum laude with a major in English and a minor in Applied Linguistics and continued my studies with a degree in TESOL from CSULA. My ultimate goal is to be an ESL and English teacher for adult students in a community college and to provide the same quality education that I acquired at LACC.