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Armida came to us in January of 2008 as an English as a Second Language (ESL) learner. She was very dedicated to improving her English-speaking skills, recognizing that she needed increased communication skills in order to qualify for job promotions. Even though she was working over 60 hours a week, she found time to meet with her tutor twice a week.
After progressing through our ESL program, she told us in 2013 about her hopes of becoming an American citizen. Within a week of her inquiry, a citizenship curriculum was individualized for Armida. She immersed herself in the curriculum with the guidance of her tutor. Within 6 months, she sent in her application and began patiently waiting for her chance to become a U.S. citizen.
Armida was scheduled for her citizenship test in March 2013. She impressed her test proctors with her knowledge, and informed her that she passed her exam. Her test day ended with a celebration after she, and others, said the Oath of Allegiance and were officially granted U.S. citizenship.
Armida is not done though. She has already come back to us wanting help preparing her for the high school diploma equivalency exam.
Helen Cates joined the Literacy Center, as a tutor, in 2009. Starting as an ESL tutor, Helen wanted to give back to the community that had given so much to her. As an avid reader, when she read about the need for tutors and the training the Literacy Center offered, she knew she had found a match. She felt very fortunate to have been matched with Stella Sharbono, a young Chinese woman, who was learning English as a second language. Not only has Stella improved her ability to read and speak English more clearly, she also passed her citizenship test in 2012! The test may be the mark of success, but Stella and Helen’s friendship has developed and grown to be an important part of both of their lives. They continue to work together. Helen also joined the board of the Literacy Center in 2013, and is currently the Treasurer and Fundraising Chairperson.