He’s Inspired to Teach Thanks to the Support He Received at School

  • 6/2/2022 10:58:00 AM

This story is part of a series of profiles the Ventura County Office of Education is presenting about outstanding graduating seniors in the Class of 2022.

NateNate Padilla had a difficult family life as a boy. After his mom and dad split up, he bounced between his parents’ distant homes and by the time he got to middle school, he was angry. “It was always easier to be angry than any other emotion,” he says. 

Not surprisingly, that led to trouble at school. “I guess I was trying too hard to be funny and was interrupting the class,” Nate says. It all came to a head after he had an altercation with a teacher and was told he wasn’t welcome to come back.

C22logoBut there was another local school that was happy to have him. In fact, Phoenix School in Camarillo specializes in helping students like Nate get back on track. Operated by the Ventura County Office of Education, Phoenix serves students whose behavior issues threaten to derail their education. In addition to academics, the school provides individualized counseling and support to help students stay focused and make it to graduation.

At first, Nate was hesitant to give Phoenix a try, but he now realizes it was just what he needed. “It’s a great place with good people, and there’s a lot more support when you need it,” he says. Nate says teachers Trevor Weis and Alyssa Holmes, in particular, were always there for him when he needed someone to lean on. “It’s good to talk to someone sometimes, and that really helped me out,” he says.

Nate was so inspired by the support he received at Phoenix that he’s thinking of pursuing a career in teaching. He’ll start on that path by enrolling in Moorpark College and hopes to get a job as a classroom aide at a school like Phoenix that serves kids like him. “I can understand what most of the kids are going through because I’ve been there,” he says.  

As Nate prepares to receive his high school diploma, he admits to being a bit nervous about what’s next. But he’s rightfully proud of himself for reaching this milestone. “It’s a good feeling knowing I got through all of the problems.”


More Inspiring Stories about the Ventura County Class of 2022

  • Maggie Melendez - Simi Valley High School

    First-Generation College Student Has Her Eye on Career with the FBI

  • Hans Bach-Nguyen - Adolfo Camarillo High School

    Harvard-Bound Grad is an Advocate for Equity in Education


  • Alex Loza - Foothill Technology High School

    Student’s “Beautiful Journey” is Leading to a Bright Future


  • Nikita Manyak - Oak Park High School

    Teen Mental Health is a Priority for this Accomplished Grad


  • Carolina Martinez - Santa Paula High School

    Daughter of Migrant Workers is Headed to UC Berkeley


  • Kendall Brown - Thousand Oaks High School

    This Grad Bounces Back when Things Don’t Go as Planned