by Photo by Guillermo Mijares

John Acosta is closing a chapter filled with over two decades of teaching experience involving the senior community. 

This Spring of 2022, Acosta decided it is time to move on to another phase in his life, but he still wants to advocate for seniors in San Diego County after this second retirement. 

Photo by Guillermo Mijares

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Acosta is also a Navy veteran, serving his country in the Cold War and many other countries for over 20 years, gaining full military honors and benefits after his first retirement. 

But he wasn't done yet serving his community. 

Acosta then decided to get involved in higher education by becoming a student at Southwestern College, where he enrolled in pre-requirement courses years after his first retirement(Navy). 

But there was something strange that he noticed when he was a student on campus, something he took issue with and immediately knew he wanted to change. 

There were hardly any seniors on campus. 

Acosta then met with the then president of Southwestern College years after being a retired Navy veteran, where they came up with an idea that would transform the second half of his professional career. 

Teaching the senior community. 

With specific topics such as "Getting Organized, "Retirement", and "Safety and Community Resources", Acosta devoted over two decades teaching seniors in our community has been his top priority since the new millennium began. 

Seniors enrolled in his program never had to worry about transportation to Southwestern College, as he made sure that on the contrary, Acosta would go to them instead to senior centers in areas such as National City, Imperial Beach, Paradise Hills, Chula Vista, and more. 

Acosta says that it has been satisfying looking back on the legacy he marked involving his service for the senior community, a contribution that kept him active after retiring from the Navy decades ago.  

"Now that I am retiring from my second career, I am leaving with the satisfaction of knowing that I did make a difference while my time at Southwestern College as an adult educator, and contributing to the outreach of senior adults in our community," Acosta says. 

However, he isn't done yet, as he continues to see ageism everywhere in our local communities. 

"Agism exists everywhere," John says. "I will continue to be involved by advocating for the senior community, as they continue to be overlooked, ignored, and simply excluded," he added. 

The Navy veteran wants the future generations to know that it is important that we all value those in the senior community, because one day, that will be us in need of physical assistance due to age. 

Photo by Guillermo Mijares

"Take care of yourself," Acosta said. "you could have all the money in the world, but if you don't have your health, it doesn't really matter in the end." he added.

"Looking back at life, I would rather be NOT rich and healthy, than wealthy but dealing with sickness. Our health is everything." said the Navy veteran. 

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