Promise Student Pursues Dream of Becoming a Paramedic

Photo Courtesy of SDCCD: John Warner Graduates San Diego Continuing Education with High School Diploma and Transitions to Miramar to Become a Paramedic

When John Warner was a high school senior, he never imagined he would go to college, let alone become someone who would be saving lives around the clock. The San Diego Miramar College graduate works as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for American Medical Response.

Before attending Miramar, Warner went to San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), where he achieved his high school diploma in 2017. “During my senior year I was told graduating from public school was not an option.” He needed to catch up on too many credits and exceeded the age limit to graduate with his class.

Warner finished his last year of high school in seven months at SDCE’s North City Campus in Serra Mesa.

“Adult learners are able to earn their diploma as quickly as possible at SDCE as we continue to grow this area of programming to meet the needs of adult students who require flexibility with education,” said SDCE President Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D.

SDCE’s Accelerated High School Diploma Program permits students to earn one credit in six weeks compared to a traditional 18-week semester.

Warner praises his family and fresh start at SDCE for helping him become who he is today. “SDCE gave me the chance to think about a future and gave me resources to better myself.”

That passion has only elevated as Warner transitioned to college. Following SDCE, he finished the Certificate of Performance in EMT at Miramar and is currently working toward an Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technology to become a Paramedic.

SDCE is the adult education institution within the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) and offers free High School Diploma and Equivalency programs and more than 70 free career training certificates in priority workforce sectors including Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Construction and Utilities, Health and Information and Communication Technologies. Many adults start at SDCE and then transition to an SDCCD college, City, Mesa or Miramar.

Photo Courtesy of SDCCD: San Diego Miramar College Students Gain Hands-On Fire Technology and EMT Experience

While attending SDCE, Warner was chosen for three academic scholarships; Matthew LaCaze Memorial Scholarship, Dr. A. Thomas Wilson Memorial Scholarship and San Diego Promise, which provides two-year tuition/fees for community college.

Warner, 20, was born and raised in Shelley, Idaho. “Both of my parents went to college. They were very intelligent and worked hard,” he said. “When my dad started drinking, things got worse. My mom fought for full custody and we moved to San Diego.

“I definitely felt like I needed to step up. My mom and sister needed me, and I was there for them. We took care of each other.”

“Ever since moving to San Diego, going to SDCE and earning the Promise scholarship, everything has been going uphill for me,” said Warner. “I am a full-time college student, I live on my own and I have a job as an EMT that I wouldn’t have been able to get unless receiving the education and training for it.”

Warner’s career as an emergency responder is inspired by his grandpa. “When I was younger, I knew I wanted to be like my mom and help people, but I never knew what it was, until I remembered the stories my grandpa would tell me about being a firefighter.”

“My older brother wanted to become an EMT but wasn’t able to get the education for it,” said Warner. “When I found out I could get the schooling here and use the Promise program to do it, I knew it’s exactly what I wanted.”

Warner spoke alongside actress Annette Bening at SDCCD’s 2018 San Diego Promise Gala.

Warner will graduate from Miramar in fall 2019.

SDCE is still enrolling for the current fall semester. Visit SDCE.EDU to sign up for a free orientation.


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