ATWATER -- Students say what they are learning in Annie Delgado's women's studies class at Buhach Colony High School is empowering and has helped them make wise choices for their futures.
The class has included some surprises, too. Students didn't know that Delgado had arranged for members of the "Roadtrip Nation" TV show to pay a recent surprise visit to Buhach Colony in their bright green motor home.
" 'Roadtrip Nation' empowers young men and women to think beyond their immediate environment," Delgado said. "They are encouraged to take the road less-traveled and find out what they are passionate about."
About 40 of the 300 students who've taken the women's studies classes over the last four years at Buhach Colony are male, Delgado said. She also teaches economics, government and the AVID college preparation program. This year, six of the 38 women's studies students are male.
Through Skype videoconferencing, her students have interviewed Gloria Steinem, Maria Shriver and other public figures.
Buhach Colony High School senior Alex Navarro, 17, plans to go to Merced College for two years and transfer to a four-year school. She wants to be a forensic psychologist and enjoys criminal law.
"It was a big surprise," Navarro said. "Miss Delgado told us all to go outside, and a great experience was waiting with the 'Roadtrip Nation' van. I love being in the class. I've learned to be happy with who I am and have the courage to follow my dreams."
Navarro, a forward and team captain on Buhach Colony's girl's basketball team, said Delgado is a tremendous motivator and very supportive.
Ashley Lee, 17, also a senior at Buhach Colony, said the class certainly has helped her. "I come from a background where women's voices aren't heard," she said.
Lee's parents didn't want her to attend Sacramento State University. She's decided to keep those plans, and her family has accepted her decision.
For now she will be studying business marketing and merchandising but hasn't narrowed down a career focus.
Lee said she has learned it's important to "listen to yourself and do what you want to do."
"The class in general has really helped me," she said. "We're a small town and there's more out there than just what we know."
The website for "Roadtrip Nation" calls the Public Broadcasting Service program a grass-roots movement that encourages young people to hit the road in search of interviews with leaders who have defined their own distinct routes through life.
"Roadtrip Nation" encourages people to move outside their comfort zones and explore the world, Delgado said.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.