Meet a Former ESOL Student Now a Physician's Assistant

by Anna Golovk
Juan Carlos Zelaya today as a physician's assistant.

Mr. Juan Zelaya is a former Blair ESOL student who graduated in 1981. Mr. Zelaya is now a physican's assistant in Salisbury, Maryland.

Mr. Zelaya came to the United States from in December 1978 from Tegucigalpa, Honduras when he was a fifteen-year-old boy and he was a student in Blair's ESOL program. "I couldn't understand any English," said Mr. Zelaya. When he graduated he was in the regular English class with Mr. Stant. "I still have a mild Spanish accent," Mr. Zelaya said. He was a member of National Honor Society as a senior at Blair.

He was also a member of the International Club here in Blair. " The International Club was fabulous. I learned how to deal with people all over the world and it helped me to understand other cultures which now helps me in my chosen field of work. I loved the outings and the friendships," he said.

After graduation from Blair he attended Montgomery College at Takoma Park campus for three years. "I had a senatorial scholarship while at MC," Mr. Zelaya said. Then he went to the University of Maryland for one semester. After that he transferred to the University of Maryland at Baltimore where he graduated with a BS in science (medical technology) in 1987.

Juan Carlos Zelaya (back row, faw left) was active in the International Club in 1980. (Mr. Bellino was the sponsor of the club that year and he took this picture.)

Mr. Zelaya worked as a medical technician for three years. Then he decided to become a physician's assistant. "It's the greatest profession there is," Mr. Zelaya said. To get his degree as a physician's assistant, he went to George Washington University for three years from 1990 to 1993.

He has been a physician's assistant since he finished at George Washington. "My job involves dealing with patients in the rehabilitation field. I manage them in a hospital in Salisbury, Maryland," he said.

"My advice to Blair ESOL students is to never give up with your studies and listen to Mr. Bellino's advice. He is older now and for that matter wiser. Study hard because it is worth it at the end."

Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2001 (This page was created by Liwen Ye.)