Coming to America from Rwanda
Coming to America is very good for people who don’t know the American life. You have many opportunities to choose a job, school, and church. For me, I chose a job through my church parish. They helped me to find a job when I didn’t speak English. I would work there for sixteen years until I retired. After that, I went to school at Mid-State Literacy Council for English. They helped me so much. I got two tutors twice a week. When I didn’t have the money to pay for tuition, I asked for help. Mid-State gave me a scholarship and they gave me a tutor, John. I got books from him and the library. The books I read the most are American history and Africa history. Some of these books are about the following: Dian Fossey, who has been in the mountains of gorillas in Rwanda, and adventures in archaeology book, a Galileo Galilei book, No-Man’s Lands, and more. My tutor and the Mid-State Literacy Council have helped me improve my reading!
Samuel is an English as a Second Language (ESL) and Adult Basic Education student (ABE) at the Mid-State Literacy Council.
Working with Samuel
I decided to volunteer with the Mid-State Literacy Council in 2019 and very soon was asked to tutor Samuel. He wanted to improve his reading and conversation skills. Samuel and I are both retired and close in age. I also felt I had some understanding of Samuel’s immigrant experience trying to learn English while working full-time and raising a large family with his wife. My grandfather immigrated from Italy with his young family and had to learn English while on the job as a brick mason. Samuel and I have been meeting weekly on FaceTime during the pandemic. We focus on the content of the book that he is currently reading, but we also talk about our family activities and everyday life. Since 2019, Samuel’s reading skill has advanced rapidly. He has many interests and reads books on a wide range of subjects. This has made our conversations interesting and varied, and along the way we have become good friends.
John is an Adult Basic Education tutor at the Mid-State Literacy Council.