Being born in Puerto Rico, I was raised with Spanish as the main language in my household. With it still being the primary language my parents speak to me in, I have every reason to be bilingual in English and Spanish, and yet, I’m really not. I stopped practicing Spanish as I went to school and English became the language I spoke with my friends. Now, 17 years after moving to the States, I am hard pressed to tell others that I am truly bilingual. Sure, I can understand Spanish near fluently, but I often struggle in holding a conversation entirely in Spanish, and almost always end up speaking “broken Spanish”.
This past summer, however, I learned of the Mid-State Literacy Council program at State College from a friend and thought it would be an amazing opportunity to help those who find themselves in a foreign country with an unknown language. Sure enough, it was. The students I have worked with through the program, despite not have the same luxuries I had growing up, have shown themselves to be more hardworking, more patient, and more understanding than I ever was, and it has taught and bettered me as a learner just as much as I hope I am helping them in their studies.
However, it’s not only the students who made my first weeks memorable here at Mid-State Literacy Council, but also those who I have worked with. Before I was allowed to tutor a student, I was able to partake in and shadow other classes. In these classes, I learned how truly amazing the program was. The teachers were interactive and fun, involving all their students and getting the most out of them. From them I learned a lot on what it means to be a good tutor and how to get the best out of your students. I am also often given projects to work on, each of which, whether it be assisting in creating a website or helping with a Spelling Bee, has taught me new skills and have further pushed me and my abilities as a tutor and as a member of Mid-State Literacy Council.
The environment here at Mid-State Literacy Council is beyond friendly, and there is always a helping hand one email away, and with the way the world is right now, what more can you ask for?