STUDENT VOICES

Here are a few examples of how grateful our students are for the support the Literacyworks Center is providing them.  All these quotes are from letters written to us this year:

“As a mother of five children, I would like to be a role model for them and show them that life is not easy, but they can make their dreams possible and their goals reachable by furthering their education. I have no words to express the gratitude I feel for this program. Thank you so much!”
“I would like to thank you with all my heart for helping people like me. You have motivated me to move forward. I am able to learn and accomplish my goals thanks to your support.”
“I work as a full-time preschool teacher, which gives me very little time to go to school and study. The Center has not only helped, financially, but also created a connection. Literacyworks is always checking on me and giving support in any way they can (meetings, tutoring, emails and phone calls). Due to this help, I am closer to my goal of obtaining my AA and becoming an interpreter.”
“As a mother of three beautiful children and wife of a dairy farm worker, I strive to do my very best. I am currently focusing on obtaining my ESL certificate and later I will pursuer the Vocational Nursing program with confidence of becoming an RN. Thank you again for your generosity and support. I promise I will work very hard and ultimately give something back to others once I become a nurse and an active member of my community.”
“I thank God for having you in my life at the right time. I truly appreciate your help. Thank you, because this helps and encourages me to push myself even more to make my dream of becoming a nurse come true. This opportunity shows that anything can be achieved if we work hard and that there are people like you who help us to achieve our goals. Thank you so much for helping students have brighter futures.”
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to you for your financial support, through the Literacyworks program. I am a single mom of two and I care for my grandma too while working full time as a preschool teacher. Because of your caring and generosity am able to attend Santa Rosa JC and accomplish my dream of obtaining a college degree. So on behalf of my family and I, thank you!”
“Thank you for helping me and giving me this opportunity to continue my educational goal. This really helps me and encourages me to keep going. As a first generation Mexican-American student, and a low-income family man, it is really difficult for my mother and I to survive in this world. This program has changed my life and has impacted it in many positive ways. I am blessed and I promise I will not let you guys down. Thank You!”
“I want to thank you. The Literacyworks award means more than you will ever know. It shows me that someone else believes that I can and will succeed, and gives me much encouragement to keep pressing forward with my education. It’s people like you that keep young people like me working hard because we know that someone is ready and willing to invest in our future."
“My goal is to pay it forward and offer help to someone who will be in my shoes in the future and bring them as much joy as you brought me. Bless your heart and thanks again."
“I am a single mom. I want to study Child Development with the goal of working as a teacher’s aid. The financial aspect of attending college on one income was starting to make me reconsider my choice. The award you donated will eliminate that burden and allow me to continue on and finish my degree. Thank you. I will always be grateful."
“I was raised in a foster home and education was not a priority. To survive was my main objective, so education looked far away and unreachable. I had doubts when I first applied for the Literacyworks Center; it sounded too good to be real. I know I have a lot to learn, but this has inspired me to continue my education."
“Your support means more than you will ever know. It shows me that someone else believes that I can and will succeed and give me much encouragement to keep pressing forward with my education. Thank you for investing in our futures!"
“It is comforting to know that there are altruistic people out there willing to lend a hand to others, and I am inspired to help others the way you have helped me. Studying engineering at SRJC is an incredible experience, as it is a step towards fulfilling my life goals. I cannot wait to demonstrate my abilities. Thank you!"
“The Literacyworks Center has granted me reassurance that there is help. With this help, I feel confident in continuing my journey to higher education and also serve as a role model for my children. Once again, thank you so much for this opportunity."
“I am a mother of two children and a housewife, for now. As a new immigrant, I’ve encountered many difficulties, especially language and finding a job. After completion of the ESL program, I am going to study pharmaceutical courses in the following year. I am very grateful for all your help. I will pass on this love to help more people who need help when I am capable in the future."
“I really appreciate this opportunity to go back to school. I am a single mom of two wonderful students. I want to thank the Center so much because with your generosity, I can keep dreaming. Education is not only important for our kids, but also parents too. Education will allow us to have better jobs and will allow us to help our children with their homework. We will be able to understand and have conversations with teachers."
“I could not be more thankful and I could not have done this without the support from Literacyworks. I can show up for class, do the work, and make good grades, for the Center has done all the hard work. It will be a major factor in my success at SRJC."

STORIES ABOUT A FEW OF OUR STUDENTS

Juan is a hardworking man often putting in 60 plus hours a week at his construction job.  He is supporting four dependent children and his wife.  Juan successfully completed his ESL class in fall of 2016 and is now taking college level English.  He wants to continue taking classes and eventually become an electrician.

One of the Center’s participants is a single mother of two.  She has struggled in school her entire life and as a result lacks confidence.  She attends GED preparation classes four days a week.  She recently contacted program staff to report she had passed the first area test of the GED.  She was crying with happiness.

A student from West Marin, who has three young children and was, recently widowed supports herself by cleaning houses.  She is taking ESL classes at night on the Santa Rosa JC Petaluma Campus.  Literacyworks Center has provided her with financial support and one to one tutoring.  She is extremely enthusiastic and is doing very well in school.  She is confident that she will reach her educational goals.


MAGARITA'S DREAM

My family is my strength to continue fighting against everything that comes my way, and above all, they have helped me overcome the incredible amounts of pain I’ve endured. I love them!!

My dream began in 2014 when I started taking High School Equivalency prep classes with HEP at SRJC. When I started the classes, the only thing I knew how to do was add, subtract, multiply and divide. There were times I cried because I did not understand anything the teacher explained to us, but it did not discourage me because I was desperate to get my certificate. So I decided to study without resting regardless of the time or where I was. Thanks to all my teachers I got my High School Equivalency certificate in one year. The High School program and their team motivated me to continue studying, so I immediately started taking English noncredit classes. For my family, it was the beginning of a new stage in our lives. HEP referred me to the Literacyworks program and offered me a scholarship, through this wonderful program. Literacyworks has been the key that has opened the door for me to take credit classes. Thanks Chris and Rita for your support. You are making my dreams possible. 

Everything was marvelous, until October of the last year. My family and I faced, yet again, new obstacles; our apartment was completely destroyed by the fire. In seconds, the fire turned everything we had built for the past few years into ash. That day we were left with only the clothes on our backs and the shoes on our feet. Our car, my husband tools, my books, and computers, everything burned without being able to rescue absolutely anything. This loss caused me to reflect on my entire life. But I told myself that I would not let this loss end my dreams and much less, the dreams of my family. A week after I went to goodwill in search for any kind of school supplies for my daughters and for myself. Luckily I found several things that could help me stay on track with my classes as well as the classes for my daughters. I had the wonderful help and support of the Literacyworks staff and SRJC teachers to help me move forward. Because of them and of course my family, I managed to attend my classes without having to miss a semester. 

Now, I am taking English with credit and hopefully one day I can get a career. To this day, my journey to arrive in New Jersey has not taken place and my brother and his family is still waiting for me, but I haven’t lost hope. We might go through rough times in our lives, but we should never let ourselves give up. Family, life and education are the most important gifts we can have and we shouldn’t give up on them. Many thanks to Literacyworks for allowing me this spaces a little bit about my educationand life experiences.

Thanks so much,

Margarita

Good afternoon, my name is Margarita Garcia. I’m from Oaxaca, Mexico. My first language is Mixteco, Spanish and I am currently studying English. I am also a wife and mother of two beautiful girls. Today, I want to talk a little about the experience I had when I arrived to this country and the opportunities that the Santa Rosa Junior College offered me.

The first time I decided to take advantage of the opportunities the world was offering me was at the age of 15. My destination was in Mexico City. My goal was to work to pay for my music studies. Being so young and inexperienced at the time some people decided to take advantage of my innocence. The only opportunity that this hugeoffered me was that of housekeeper and to work at ice cream shop. I worked both jobs to keep up with my expenses. After four years of work in the capital of Mexico, I made the great decision to cross the border of dreams to the United States. 

My destination was New Jersey, but while on this journey, I was kidnappedalong with 18 people who also came looking for the American dream. It was one of the most difficult moments of my life, it was an experience that changed my destiny forever and it left me a painful and terrifying memory I will never forget. Fortunately, I was liberated from that unpleasant place along with the other 18 people. I arrived in California on August 5, 2002 without knowing anyone. I had to face new challenges. I felt totally lost, helpless, and above all, I felt alone. Since I had no friends or family here, I had absolutely no one's support. For a couple of weeks, I had to sleep on train tracks, I had nothing to eat, and I had no way to protect myself from the cold, so I got sick. What made it worse was that my name, my identity as a woman, and my dignity, was trampled on. I had to face many people with bad intentions constantly, but also who respected me.

As soon as I started working in the fields picking grapes, I felt free, comfortable, and eager to improve myself. The field gave me the strength and courage to move on from my past pain. Although sometimes I had co-workers who stole my work and took my trays full of grapes, there were occasions where kind co-workers who lent me their time to help me load my trays. As time passed, I met a beautiful family that was from Michoacán, Mexico and they offered me a helping hand. They had two girls and two boys. Through these children, I was I was able to know where I was within the United States. They showed me the town and the different services that were in the community. They helped me look for a job, and they even gave some homework assignments and encouraged me to take English classes to further my education. They were like my little angels who were guiding me. They were blessings, as I call them, found me an apartment, gave me cloths, and personal care supplies. Years later, I was put in front of a wonderful man who is now my husband and father to my children.