We’ve all begun something new. Perhaps it was a starting a new job or relocating to a new town, where we’ve left behind familiar routines and treasured friends. Perhaps we felt uneasy and unsure of ourselves as we worked to get established among unfamiliar faces and places.
Imagine how much more difficult the transition would be moving to a new country where you can’t speak or read the language and are faced with customs you haven’t seen before. How can you ask for help when you struggle to speak the local language? This is the very circumstance facing many of our learners—like Isaura.
Allison, a Literacy DuPage tutor, recalls meeting Isaura almost two years ago. “I had just finished my training with Literacy Dupage, and she was my first student. The experience of tutor and student would be new to both of us.”
“From our initial meeting, Isaura showed a commitment to be present and to learn—even though it wasn’t easy for her,” said Allison. “She had a new baby as well as three older children. And she would soon be returning to her full-time job after her maternity leave. I admired Isaura’s determination to transport herself and her daughter to our weekly meetings at the library.”
Isaura diligently completed her homework and willingly would take on more. She knew that improving her English speaking could be a game changer in her life. She saw the opportunity to become a more informed employee. She also knew she could become a more knowledgeable parent, able to help her children do their best by asking questions about their school and homework. What’s more, she wanted to know more about American traditions and practices.
“Isaura wanted to gain knowledge, and with knowledge came power,” said Allison. “My student, who became my friend, taught me where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Every year, Literacy DuPage serves more than 500 adult learners in more than 30 communities throughout DuPage County. Currently, our waiting list includes 300 more people who hope to be matched with a tutor. We dream of matching each one of those people with a tutor. You don’t need to speak a second language to be a tutor or to help make a difference. Interested? Find out more about volunteering and giving opportunities.