Educators put him in classes to improve his English until middle school and told him to take basic math instead of algebra. But the son of farmworkers refused to let obstacles stop him.
Alfredo Andrade earned an ‘A’ in algebra, received two bachelor’s degrees, and became school board president. Now, he’s working on a master’s degree.
“Never give up,” Andrade says. “Keep pushing forward, even when life throws everything at you. Eventually, you’ll succeed if you keep trying.”
Drawing on his own life story, the representative of Trustee Area #2 offers a message of hope to every student willing to strive and persevere.
The long road to an education
Like many of his colleagues on the school board, Andrade’s path to an advanced education was filled with twists and turns. In 1997, Andrade graduated from Indio High School and was accepted at the University of California, Irvine. He took classes for a year and a half but withdrew to help support his family and younger siblings.
A dozen years passed before he could return to college. In 2013, Andrade graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in psychology from the California State University, San Bernardino campus in Palm Desert. In 2017, Andrade earned his second bachelor’s degree in business administration from Brandman University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a 3.8 grade point average. In June, Andrade will complete his master’s degree program in business administration at the University of California, Riverside.
Andrade hopes his struggle and sacrifice for an education will inspire students in the Banning Unified School District.
“Life happens,” Andrade says. “I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for everything that I’ve learned.”