Our Social Impact FY 2016-2017
Testimonials: We are changing lives
"I feel like a new person, I see my future differently and I know that it is never too late to study"
Jovita Leyva Espinoza is a Plaza Comunitaria student who is originally from Guerrero México. Jovita was only able to go through the third grade of elementary school while she lived in Mexico because her mother, the sole provider for the family, was frequently sick and the children could not go to school until the mother was feeling better. After she finished third grade Jovita had work and help support the family instead of finishing school. Jovita married but her husband was abusive and insulting, telling her that she never was going to be able to advance in life, that she was ignorant and she couldn’t handle education. After 10 years she separated from her husband. Jovita started with the Plaza Comunitaria program, and in only 6 months she finished elementary school.
"I am very happy, the fact that I could finish elementary school makes me feel secure, with better self-esteem. Now I know that I can pursue difficult goals and reach them. I am raising three children as a single mom, and I am showing them that despite our age or our life circumstances we can reach our goals. I dream having my own business. Right now, I am working on my secondary education; I have already passed six subjects and I know I can finish high school. I thank El Centro Hispano for supporting the Plaza Comunitaria program, I feel like a new person, I see my future differently and I know that it is never too late to study"
"Learning how to read and write changed my life"
Israel Hernández Espíritu is originally from Puebla, México.
"I didn't have the opportunity to go to School; from the time I was very little I had to work. My mom and my dad decided to immigrate to the United States, so I lived with my grandparents. I first met my dad when I was 16; and then at age 18 I came to the United States, to North Carolina where my mom had been living for 5 years. I was here without a job, and I heard from a friend that El Centro Hispano of Durham had the "Plaza Comunitaria" (Literacy program), the program where they teach adults how to read and write and also have elementary and secondary education for adults. Learning how to read and write changed my life. The desire to be somebody prepared was always in my heart and I can't believe that now I read and write very fast!
This is what El Centro Hispano and this program has done in my life; it has given me the opportunity to change my future and things are easier. I am working, learning English and now I know I can reach my goals. I want to learn a lot, I want to be a teacher and go back to my country where there are many people who don't know how to read and write and I am going to teach them, and their lives will be different as it is mine now. Thank you to El Centro Hispano for supporting these programs and for playing a key role in helping us to reach our dreams."