ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

U.S. Department of Education Awards CSUF Grant to Aid Migrant Workers

A $2.4 million federal grant is funding the High School Equivalency Program being administered by Cal State Fullerton in Orange County to help migrants and their families obtain a General Education Diploma or GED.

They left Tijuana, Mexico, for their children. Life in the border town was tough – they heard the gunshots and knew people were being murdered on the streets. It was their home, but for the sake of their girls it couldn't be any longer.

Javier and Liliana Bataz, both 40, had never experienced the grueling labor of working the fields before moving to California. They didn't know what it was like to have every muscle ache as they picked lemons and oranges in the orchards of Santa Paula or swelter under the heat as they amassed boxes full of grapes in the small town of Lodi outside of Stockton. They finally settled in Anaheim, where Javier worked in a packing house piling loads and loads of tomatoes.

It wasn't the life they planned, but it was the easiest job they could find. And they needed the work desperately. Continue reading

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