Yolanda, an immigrant from Mexico began as an English as a Second Language student ten years ago. With low level English skills and small children, Yolanda had no where to go to improve her skills until she found the Learning and Loving Education Center. With the on-site childcare, the Learning and Loving Education Center program allowed her to bring her children to class. The childcare helped make education possible for Yolanda. After three years, she was able to improve her English skills and moved on to higher education at the local community college. At the community college, she was able to pursue her dream of obtaining her Early Childhood Education certificate. Yolanda has been employed at the Learning and Loving Education Center for the past several years and has fulfilled her dream of working with immigrant children. In addition, Yolanda and her family have been able to purchase their first home and have put three children through college.
Mayda, an immigrant from Mexico came to the Learning and Loving Education Center to improve her English skills. Mayda felt trapped at home with her small son and was looking for opportunities to improve her life. After two years of attending English as a Second Language and computer skills training, Mayda decided to take part in a small business training program. Along with nine other ESL students, Mayda attended 200 hours of training and ultimately established their own natural house-cleaning company, Eco-Care.
"The situation in my home country was difficult. I had five sisters and one brother to help care for. I attended school only to the 6th grade and then had to go to work when I was only 13 years old. I came to this country with dreams for a better life. One year later, I married and for a while I had to put my dreams on hold."
"Now, ten years later, I am working to improve my English. I have become a citizen. I am learning the computer, and hoping to find a job." (A quote from Ernestina's English writings)
Ernestina is a hard worker. After only three years of attending classes at the Learning and Loving Education Center, Ernestina achieved many of her dreams. She can now read and write English, has a job, and is proud to be a U.S. citizen and is looking forward to voting in the next presidential election.
Lupe, a three year veteran of our English and job readiness program, is now working as an office manager for a landscaping company. Through her education and new found employment Lupe can better provide for her family.
Margarita attended the Learning and Loving Education Center for four years studying English as a Second Language and computer skills. She was happy to find a program that she could attend with her small children. Margarita graduated from the Learning and Loving Education Center to pursue higher education at the local Adult School. She obtained her GED (high school diploma equivalency). Now, Margarita has the skills and confidence she needs to enter the business world. Margarita and her husband have successfully pursued their dream of owning and operating their own business. Currently Margarita manages all aspects of their small business and they have been able to purchase their own home.
tragedy struck Mari Carmen and her family when they were hit by a drunk driver. The accident claimed the lives of her husband and unborn child (she was 8 months pregnant). This accident changed her life. Our program has supported Mari Carmen through advocacy and trainings that have helped her through this difficult time. Mari Carmen has worked hard at the Learning and Loving Education Center with her studies of English as a Second Language, computer skills, and attending grief counseling workshops. Without our center she would not have had the support she needed to cope with this horrible tragedy. Mari Carmen has had to endure a series of surgeries for the injuries sustained from the accident but is now walking and doing better. The Learning and Loving Education Center has also linked Mari Carmen with a part-time job and she is earning enough income to provide for herself and her son.
Diba, from Afghanistan, began attending our program when she was relocated to our community a few years ago. She and her two children fled the Taliban regime and escaped from Afghanistan after her family was victimized by violence and persecution. Her father and brother were killed while her mother and husband were captured and taken from their village. To save her life and those of her two small children, Diba climbed the mountain range to nearby Turkey. At the Learning and Loving Education Center, Diba worked hard to improve her English, so that she could help her children with their homework and begin working to support her family. She was thrilled to find our program where both she and her daughters could learn English and learn how to use personal computer.
Beatriz was the last hope for her family's survival. Faced with poverty, abuse, and illness, Beatriz came to the United States in hopes of improving her economic status so she would be able to support her brother's expensive cancer treatment.
In Mexico, Beatriz and her family worked together in their own business that supported herself, her parents, one sister and one brother. Life was good until her father started physically abusing her mother. The children stood behind their mother and he was forced to leave the family. With him went the business and the security of the family. They all went to work to support their family and to keep the youngest sister in school. She would be the first to graduate high school. Then Beatriz's grandmother became ill, which required her mother's constant care. After a long illness her grandmother passed away leaving her mother in a deep depression. Beatriz took a secretarial course and worked hard to receive her certificate. She worked full time but the money was not enough. In the meantime, her brother became very ill and was diagnosed with cancer. It was a shock to realize that they could not afford the required expensive cancer treatments. To increase their family's income, it was decided that Beatriz would come to the United States and earn the much needed money to help the family.
After arriving in the United States, Beatriz realized that everything was difficult without the ability to speak English. She soon realized that she couldn't go to a doctor or go to a store, let alone find employment. Even eating was difficult. Beatriz sometimes did not eat for days because she did not have the words to express herself. She was afraid to look people in the face and became very fearful and isolated. Beatriz knew she needed to learn English to improve everything about her life and to help her family, yet she was concerned about the cost of education.
Beatriz felt welcomed from the first moment she stepped into the Learning and Loving Education Center where she attended English as a Second Language and basic computer classes, at a no or low-cost based fee. At the Learning and Loving Education Center she also developed valuable skills by attending CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Res.) and First-Aid certification trainings, a self-esteem building workshop, and a nutrition class. Seven years later, Beatriz' personal desire for education, employment and a better life for herself and her family are finally being fulfilled. She is working full time as a professional nanny, has an apartment, and is thankful that her sister finished school and her brother's cancer is in remission thanks to the treatment he was able to obtain with her assistance.