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Nicky Luna listens to the instructor in her adult education class.

Nicky Luna may hold the record for the longest time between taking classes through Burnsville’s Adult Basic Education program.

Luna came to Minnesota in 2001 from Acapulco, Mexico, where she spoke exclusively Spanish. That year she enrolled in her first English class. She learned the basics, but life got busy as she got married, began raising her three children, and got a job as a manager at McDonalds. Eighteen years later, in 2020, Luna returned to One91 School for Adults with the goal of improving her English so she could help her family.

“It’s a scary, frustrating thing, but it was my ambition to learn English. The first reason was I wanted to help my son, who is autistic. It has really helped me a lot,” she said. 

Upon returning to school, Luna found it could benefit her professionally, as well. She had worked as a personal care assistant (PCA) for three years. Through an adult education class, she earned a certified nursing assistant (CNA) credit that allowed her to complete her CNA certification through Dakota County Technical College. 

“The certification means a pay increase and more opportunities to take more classes if I want to become a nurse. This is my first step to becoming a nurse,” Luna said. “The teachers at the school have all been really helpful. We don’t speak any English at home, so it helps to be here with other students to talk, practice and learn.”

Luna’s children have been supportive and excited to have their mom back in school.

“The day I took my test, they couldn’t believe it,” she said. “They’re really happy and really proud of me.”

  • Adult Basic Education