Oscar 

At Home in the Classroom

Then: FRCC STUDENT NOW: SECOND GRADE DUAL-LANGUAGE TEACHER, EDGEWATER ELEMENTARY

At the age of 19, Oscar moved from El Paso, Texas, to Denver, Colorado, and spent 15 years working in restaurants. Although he got an associate degree in automotive science from Westwood College along the way, he never pursued work as a mechanic. Then, everything changed when Oscar met his future wife, a law school student at the time. She encouraged him to go to college and nudged him toward FRCC.

A first-generation college student, academics didn’t come easy for Oscar and he had to take several developmental classes. He became a regular in FRCC’s writing center and math lab and worked hard for every grade and every class. His efforts paid off: In 2008, he received an FRCC Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award. In 2010, Oscar transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he earned a B.A. in Spanish and became licensed to teach K-12. All through school, he also worked full time at King Soopers.

In fall 2017, Oscar was hired by Edgewater Elementary School, a Title I school, as a second-grade dual-language teacher. Being able to teach students who are growing up in Spanish-speaking homes like he did is meaningful and important work. It took a while for Oscar to discover his path, but he says teaching is his calling—and making a difference in children’s lives makes him excited to go to work every day.

"I give FRCC a lot of credit for where I am today. The staff at FRCC is phenomenal and made my transition to Metro easy and smooth, but it was much more than that. At FRCC, I always felt welcome. There were resources to help me and people who have been in my shoes. I think of FRCC as a catapult, and it definitely catapulted me in a great direction."