Ms. Honey's Story

Against All Odds: Becoming A Graduate & Inspiring The Next Generation
Posted on 11/09/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Against All Odds: Becoming A Graduate & Inspiring The Next GenerationJanithzia Contreras is affectionately known as Ms. Honey at the Muzetta Thrower Adult Education Center. As the Student Support Specialist, she is passionate about encouraging adults to return to school to continue their education. She has a personal connection to working with parents and the Latino(a)/Spanish-speaking community as she understands the challenges they face in their educational journey.

At 18, Janithzia made the difficult decision to drop out of high school to get a job to help her family financially. Soon afterward, she became a mother; a year and a half later, she gave birth to her second son.Ms. Honey at graduation Returning to school to get her high school diploma became a distant dream as she dedicated herself to raising her children and ensuring they excelled in school and understood the importance of education.

What was once a distant dream soon turned into reality with a simple question from her son, “Mom, did you graduate?” It was at that moment that she knew that she had to set an example for her children and prove to herself that, yes, she would graduate.

She enrolled in the Muzetta Thrower Adult Education Center in the Adult Diploma program. “I was worried about my age going back to school at 40. Just to see so many students of all ages was an inspiration.”

As a student at Muzetta, Janithzia was a mother of three children and a wife. She faced many challenges and sometimes thought she might be unable to complete the program. “Ms. Donahue (Tiffany Donahue, principal) would encourage me and let me know that it would be okay if I needed to take a break or take more classes the following year. Everyone understood that everyone had something going on; they supported and cared for us (students).”

Janithzia graduated from Muzetta in 2017 with her high school diploma with the support of her husband, Luis, and children. Following her graduation, she took the paraeducator class at Muzetta, completed the program, and then began working as a paraeducator in Vacaville Unified School District. Additionally, she qualified to become a translator for IEPs (Individualized Education Program) to support families. On top of this, she felt compelled to return to Muzetta to offer her support.

Ms. Honey at graduationShe learned about an opening at Muzetta for a Student Support Specialist role, applied, and was hired. "I love working with our students and our Hispanic community. I encourage them to go back to school. If I could do it at 40, then they can do it too."

Janithzia looks forward to her son graduating from Muzetta, and her oldest son now works at Vacaville Unified School District.

“My goal for the future is to make sure everyone knows about the Muzetta Thrower Adult Education Center. When I started, no one knew about adult education – but everyone needs to know you can do it, it’s possible, and don’t give up.”
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