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Achieving Success in the Face of Adversity

Hesperia Unified School District

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” For Hesperia’s Jacob Stephenson adversity has been a driving force in his success.

Raised in a single parent household along with his sisters, Jacob was enjoying life as a sophomore at Canyon Ridge High School in Hesperia when his life took a tragic turn with the death of this mother. Faced with such adversity and an uncertain future, Jacob was certain about one thing—he knew that it would be his job to raise his younger sisters. He was just 16 years old.

During the next two years, the small family lived with a relative while Jacob focused on his education and enrolled in the ROP Computer Business Applications with Mary Walker.

As he approached his 18th birthday, Jacob continued to focus on equipping himself with the training and skills needed to secure a well-paying job, a job that would provide a home for him and his sisters. When it seemed as though nobody was hiring, Jacob turned to Mrs. Walker for help. He knew he was applying the job search skills he had learned in her class but needed support in reaching potential employers. Mrs. Walker referred him to Viking Equipment/High Desert Products Company in Hesperia where she knew they needed somebody for their assembly line. Although Jacob didn’t have experience, she knew he had the skill set to be successful in the manufacturing industry. Mrs. Walker didn’t hesitate to recommend him knowing he was bright and dependable with a tremendous work ethic. Viking gave him a chance and he has been working at the facility for over five months.

Jacob says the work readiness skills and work ethic he learned in Mrs. Walker’s class have definitely helped him to be successful at his job. His computer skills are being put to use as Jacob continues his education at Barstow Community College.

We all face adversity in our lives. If we do not commit to overcome it; it will likely overcome us. Because of Jacob’s courage and commitment, with a little help from ROP, he is able to support his family and inspire them to be successful despite adversity.