By: Elsabel Rincon (Settlement Programs Manager)
“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah, in Arabian Nights
During the past several months over 60 new immigrants have embarked on a brave and empowering journey of regaining their voices and sharing their stories by learning English as a Second Language. As our settlement mission continues to be shaped by our growing and changing community, our present ESL & Citizenship program supports our new neighbors to be able to access resources and help them reach their goals.
Adult students have been guided to understand their story of self while developing their English language skills; many of them exploring “why” they want to learn English and become a U.S. Citizen:
“to understand and connect with other community members, our kids’ teachers and at work”
“For better employment opportunities and help others that need help”
“for my children, for my child’s school”
“I want to be part of this great nation”
Weaving together these individual stories reminds us what we are all a part of – families, organizations, cultures, and communities. In each of these groups we participate with others and construct stories together. By continuing to weave our stories together, we realize that we share a common past; and we can make a conscious choice to have an active role in the construction of the story of “now” and the story of “us”.