Welcome to Amador College Connect   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to Amador College Connect
Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson works full-time, is a single parent of a young teenage daughter, and is attending online courses at Columbia College. When he first stepped into our center back in February of 2022, he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to study, but he knew it had to be connected to his Native American culture. His tech-savvy daughter, Eternity, came in with him to guide him as we set up usernames and passwords. With his busy life, he knew the only way to achieve his college goal was to do it online. We set him up to meet with our MEOC transition specialist, Tira Lawhorn, and she connected him to Stephanie Guzman-Beaver who works with Native Student Initiatives at Columbia. Justin began his first class, Life Skills for Higher Education, on June 29 and finished successfully with an A. He then aced Native People of North America. Now he is taking English 1A and is planning to enroll for more courses this summer and fall. Last April, Justin and his daughter were able to attend the “Native Voices” event at the Columbia campus in Sonora. This free event showcased indigenous hip-hop bands and inspiring Native-based lectures which inspired him to continue pursuing his passion. For his final paper in his Native People of North America course (see excerpt below), Justin wrote an eye-opening essay on the Oqlala Sioux tribe in South Dakota. In his essay, Justin discussed the extensive poverty and the negative impact of alcohol on this reservation. Ending on a positive note, however, Justin added that “Good is happening in the Oqlala communities as such programs like the ‘Culture and Meth Don’t Mix’…for meth prevention of Native Youth. “Currently, Justin is working to complete a certificate or associate degree with an ultimate goal of getting a bachelor’s in Native governance. He is working hard to be “the role model and reason/inspiration” for his teenage daughter to pursue college. Little does he know that he is already an inspiration to many others as well. Justin admits it would have been really hard to pursue college without Amador College Connect. He says that the staff are “beyond helpful and very understanding,” His advice for future or current students is, “Don’t give up…you’ve got the inspiration and determination, that’s what you need to succeed.”

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