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Charting a new course

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This week, Jesus Serrano, 44, will graduate from Bakersfield College with honors with an associate degree and triple majors in Spanish, math and economics.

When he was 16 years old, Jesus Serrano left Mexico for the United States and settled with extended family in the Bay Area while he attended his sophomore and junior year of high school in Union City. He learned English during that time and had been talking with a counselor at the high school who was known for helping immigrant kids go to college.

But when he turned 18, in his senior year of high school, his family pressured him to leave school and get a job, telling him: “People from Mexico don’t come here to study. They come here to work.”