Juan Gaytan, WWCC Custodian since 2014
Most important part of the job?
Many people assume that a custodial job is not important. It’s kind of an “underground” job, because once everybody leaves the campus, and the offices and classrooms are empty, that’s when our job starts. The most important thing I do is to make sure that everything is clean and ready to go for the teachers the next morning.
I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. I came to the U.S. when I was 17 but then for the next ten years I worked with only Spanish-speaking people. When I started at WWCC I was a student in the ESL program, I didn’t speak English at all. And I had never attended high school, so my next step was to get my GED.
It’s been really tough, combining my student life, my work life, and my family life. I basically live at school. I’m on campus at 7:00 a.m., I study and go to classes, then I go home for an hour and a half to have a meal with my family. And then I come back to campus to work until 9:00 p.m. That’s every day, and on Saturdays I do my homework.
People should know?
I would like people to be more aware of the obstacles we face, as Spanish-speaking people, on our path to meet our goals. I still feel insecure about my English, because it isn’t perfect, and I’m still working on my communication skills.
In the beginning I was terrified by the college environment, because it was totally new, and I couldn’t really talk to people. But now I consider WWCC to be my second home. The instructors and staff are all great people. It’s just a great place to be.
While working as a custodian I have earned degrees from both the electrical and wind technology program and a two-year transfer degree. I will be going to WSU in the fall, and my dream is to become an electrical engineer.
Sunday is my only day off, and for fun I like to spend it with my family. We go to church, maybe out to Sherry’s to eat, and just relax.
My wife Roxana works in the CNA program at WWCC and we have a son, Ian, who’s 3 ½. My Mom and four siblings live here too.