I came to Dunkirk from Puerto Rico 6 years ago because my mom lives here. When I first came I didn’t speak any English and I couldn’t find a job. I wanted to support my family. It’s hard to learn when you’re older. I’m 35, but I need to keep learning for my kids and my mom. Like, when we go to the doctor, I can’t explain anything. You have to rely so much on other people. That’s the hardest part. And my accent! Sometimes I have to spell things just so people understand me. That’s why I come to this conversation group, to practice. Now I feel I can speak up for myself, and I have a job. I’m going to keep working hard and improving. Everyone is kind here, and that’s important. In the one-on-one tutoring, you don’t feel like someone will laugh at you if you don’t know something. No matter if you’re old or young, you can learn and this place will help you!
This is a great place, you know? They teach you how to read in English. How to speak with all kinds of people. They give you a lot of help. I grew up in New York City, but I never learned to read that good. Now I’m focused on reading so I can get a better life. Really, what kind of job can you get if you don’t know how to read English? And this place is free! I always wanted to learn but I can’t afford it, you know, a lot of those classes cost a lot of money. You’re stuck. That’s why it’s so important they help you for free. We’re all one team here. We treat each other like family. I once saw a 60-year-old woman come in here not knowing a single word of English, but she learned! This is the place to come. And you can do it! If that 60-year-old woman can, you can do it.