Supporting Students as they Strive for Change

Iris Lim, an Asian woman wearing black scrubs, stands in front of her adult school.

CVACE gives students the tools to advance their careers

Iris Lim has been working to change careers from the dental industry to the medical field and is a step closer to achieving that goal thanks to the education she received at Castro Valley Adult Career and Education (CVACE). She completed the clinical course at CVACE in November 2023, which included a 160-hour externship with Kaiser Permanente.

“I wanted a job that is more fulfilling because my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and I was the one taking her to the hospital and supporting her during her chemo therapy,” Lim said. “I saw what nurses were doing and I like helping people. Seeing what those nurses were doing inspired me to want to join healthcare. So I told myself it is now or never.”

“Their program is affordable and classes are flexible where I can still maintain my job and work around my school schedule.”

Iris Lim, CVACE graduate

Thankfully today her mother’s health has improved and she’s doing well. Lim, however, still faced challenges. She was a few classes shy of earning her high school diploma — a necessity to go into the health care field — but was determined to do what whatever it took to achieve her career goals. That’s when she discovered CVACE as a viable way to obtain her high school diploma and education for the career she was striving for.

“My experience at Castro Valley has been great,” she said. “Their program is affordable and classes are flexible where I can still maintain my job and work around my school schedule and that was really helpful. That is why I plan to take more classes at the medical school this year.”

Lim said that she plans to enroll in phlebotomy, EKG tech and medical billing and coding courses. She aims to secure employment in the medical field shortly after completing the additional courses. Although she is planning to get into the medical field by becoming a clinical medical assistant, her ultimate goal is to one day become a registered nurse.

Currently, Lim is actively pursuing job opportunities while working on completing the additional courses at CVACE to strengthen her qualifications. She credits CVACE for providing valuable resources and support, including job postings on their website and letters of recommendation from program coordinators. Additionally, the school also provides many other benefits such as counseling support, online class options and caring and supportive teaching staff and administrators.

Lim’s journey to reach her educational and professional goals is yet another example of the transformative power of education and CVACE’s commitment to empowering people at all stages of their education to pursue their career aspirations despite obstacles they may face. As Lim continues with her studies at CVACE, her journey is an example to others who are seeking to begin their own path to a new career and further their education.

For more information about Castro Valley Adult Career and Education, visit or call 510-886-1000.

Written by Whip Villarreal

About Castro Valley Adult & Career Education 7 Articles
Castro Valley Adult & Career Education educates and prepares adults to train for new careers, continue their education, and pursue lifelong learning in a safe, supportive environment. Programs include High School Diploma/GED, English as a Second Language, Career Education, Parent Education and Adults with Disabilities. CVACE also offers a wide variety of Community Interest classes, such as computers, music, cooking and fitness and health.