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Student Spotlights

Pat and Pedro Share their Tutoring Journey

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Spotlight on Pedro

Learn how English helped Pedro progress from the Marshall's stockroom to an Assistant Manager offer.

Tutor-student pair Pat and Pedro began working together in 2019. Pat has dedicated her life to public service: four years in the Army and 25 years as a teacher. Pedro leaves a lasting impression with his magnetic personality, strong desire to learn English, and positive attitude.

Pat and Pedro shared their tutoring journey at LVSC’s 40th anniversary party:

Pat: Why did you leave Ecuador to come to America and how was your adjustment to living in a new country?

Pedro: Most of the journeys, in this planet come from some powerful reason like a nice history. Mine was the LOVE, a undervalued word nowadays. My soulmate, my partner, my pillar is from this country. After nice and great 3 years of marriage in my former country she planned to return to her motherland country, and here we are starting a crazy journey moving to US.

Pedro and wife Stefanie arrive at LVSC's 40th anniversary party.Pat: Can you tell us about your English lessons and how they helped you?

Pedro: We cannot lie to ourselves, always the first day it's the most nervous. Remember the first day of school, the first day of work, the first day at college I thought it’s the sense of something different.

All of these were easier after I found a “safety place” (Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County).

How did arrived at classes? The first time driving after work with no wife or no in-law supporting to me, I find a nice and polite person. She introduces herself Pat Kime my tutor at ESL classes. Was an unthinkable first meeting. I remember told my wife after the meeting, “honey” I found a great and a kind person. At my perception the most valuable thing.

After a lot of classes, laughs and good discussions, I start to feel confident in myself. Simple things like going to the bank doing transactions.

I think its nice for yourself to feel brave enough to walk in this country without anybody attached to you and doing your personal things.

Got my library card was nice because I start to get books and reading. This gave to me a key for absorb a lot of knowledge.

Pat: How has being more comfortable with the English language helped you?

Pedro: I can quote from "Seedfolks”, a book that my tutor and I enjoyed: “As older as you came to US, as younger as you turn.”

Because it’s funny how little things like going to get groceries, went to the doctor, try to took the test drive at MVC can result so hard when it’s in a different language.

After studied with LVSC you evolve from crawl to give the first steps by yourself.

Pat and Pedro discuss the tutoring experience at LVSC's 40th anniversary celebration.Pat: Your first job was at Marshall’s…

Pedro: I remember hahahaha my first meeting with the managers and the team, I don’t even realize what they ask to me or what they planned for that week. After effort, practices reading, speaking with Pat, finally I was able to learn from my tasks at the backstore, in the salesfloor, even in the front, I done announcements in the speakers, and finally had the keys of the store.

The first day I don’t even have idea how to arrive and the last day close the store and receive a offer to stay like an Assistant Manager.

Thanks to the ESL program and LVSC whom provide the program, I made a career at Marshall’s my first employer in United States.

Pat: Is there anything else you would like everyone to know?

Pedro: To all the students, I use this chance to speak the next few words: Congrats for been here, congrats for search a way to learn and be independent, congrats for taking a chance and chasing your dreams. Change is okay, what is the point in staying the same.

It’s right we came, it’s a new place. It’s a new culture, a new traditions, a new festivities. But it’s also a new day to learn new words, new smells, new smiles, new opportunities to be what we chose to be.

In this country I learn how to handle the nerves. I’m remember always be afraid to be lost, where I am? With the GPS at my hand hahahaahahahaha. But also learned that being lost only gave me the courage to ask, to talk, to learn.

Every one of us are immigrants in one moment of our lives: sometimes different city, different town, different county, maybe a different state and sometimes different country.

To all of you guys that are teachers at LVSC, I’m always going to be grateful, because you are a guiding light in the lives of your students. Maybe you don’t just realize, but you are the reason for some of us, to go outside and forget fears.

You also giving us confidence to know if maybe we can’t ever talk with no accent, we are confident to make an order at a restaurant, or apply for a job, or maybe keep studying.

The same way thanks for all the staff that keeps LVSC working, helping, and giving support for the people that want to learn this great language.