Sharing is Caring: From Our Students
Every year Literacy Volunteers asks our students to participate in a writing project. They share their stories about their life in America, their travels, their successes, and their challenges and how they’ve overcome them. We want to share their stories with you too, because your support has made their new life possible!
I’ll start telling you about my life before getting to the US.
I’m Brazilian, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the Catholic University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil. I worked for 14 years in an office developing designs of wastewater treatment plants.
My husband used to work with IT Compliance at Elektro, which is a energy company in Brazil. This company belongs to the Spanish group Iberdrola that also holds Avangrid, where he had the opportunity to be transferred in 2016.
At that time, when he got the job offer, we were just dating, so we decided to get married, I quit my job and we just left our home country to live abroad. We didn’t know how our new life would be here, the only thing we knew was we would have to start over.
Because of my job in Brazil, I always read books or scientific articles in English and sometimes I needed to talk with American people through equipment suppliers so I used to have English classes to practice a little bit. When we moved in I wanted to improve my English because my intent was to get a job in my field of expertise so I looked for ESL classes and found that the Literacy Center in my town was offering these classes for foreigners.
Then I got in touch with Tami to understand how it would work and shortly after I started the regular classes and later the one on one. I used to take all the classes that I was able to, aiming to improve my English as quickly as possible. One day one of my tutors told me Tami was in need of someone to help her in the office and asked me if I was interested. After talking to Tami about the job, I started to work with her and still kept the classes.
With this opportunity I could meet people all over the world and learn about several cultures, I made good friends and most importantly my English has improved a lot.
As the company my husband works for is transferring many Brazilian people, I was able to recommend and recruit some friends to the Center and I can say they love the classes there.
I really like the atmosphere of Literacy and the way they teach us, as opposed to the traditional method with grammar books, homework, etc. Also, what caught my attention was they can adapt the classes to the way we prefer or need.
I am incredibly grateful to Tami for everything she has been doing for me, mainly for the patience to teach me all the work that had to be done and also for all the hard time she had trying to understand my portuguenglish, which is a language created by me that mixes Portuguese and English. I also have to say to all my tutors, Florence, Cindy and Melinda, that they made the difference in my life. I have no words to describe how thankful I am for all they have done to allow me to have great teaching and amazing company.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that I feel like The Literacy Center has been improving many people lives of our community, supporting them to socially engage through a better communication and also by participating on the various beneficent events that Tami and the crew have put in place. I am so proud to have contributed in some way to this noble cause that helps so many people.
- Esperanza Castillo – My Life My name is Esperanza Castillo, I am the last of six siblings Mari, Marco, Yanina, Edison, Mireya and me. I was born in Ecuador in a town called Puerto Quito, it is the northwest of the Province of Pichincha, this is where I went to school. After I finished, I went to live with my older sister to study College and University where I graduated with a Commercial Engineer in Quito. In between I worked in a supermarket as a cashier and in a pawn shop. While in university I worked in the Bank Solidario. At this time I met Jose, got engaged had two daughters Leahn and Linnette which are now 5 and 3 years old. I then returned to live in my hometown at my in-laws while Jose worked in this country and hoped to get citizenship. The moment came in the year 2012 when, after a long wait ... Read more