Catholic Charities of Boston is proud to provide workforce development programs, including adult education classes, to hundreds of students in Eastern Massachusetts each year. Education is one of the key steps on the journey to self-sufficiency for many individuals. For 35 million adults in the U.S., English is a second language. Those whose first language is not English can pursue their education through English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at Catholic Charities of Boston, where our goal is to empower adults by increasing their employment opportunities and self-sufficiency.
When students participate in the ESOL program, teachers and staff work with them to develop goals and put them on a track to success. Below, we highlight two recent student success stories from individuals who have gone on to further education and job readiness after spending time in our program.
Maytte: Maytte came to El Centro del Cardenal adult education barely speaking any English and working as a cashier at Target. Her goal was to go to college to study business. After successfully completing our ESOL program, her instructors referred her to Year Up, a program that provides career training and skill development, where she excelled and went on to get an internship that developed into a full-time job. Maytte plans to work and continue her studies in college. She got so much out of Catholic Charities’ ESOL program that, last year, she brought her mother to El Centro to enroll in ESOL classes, too. Her mother began the program knowing no English and is now a level 2 student. Typically parents take their children to school, but it is not unusual for our ESOL students to participate first and then bring their parents, and it is not unusual for our students, sometimes teenagers, to financially support their families. We are looking forward to seeing Maytte’s, and her mother’s, continued success.
Carlos: When Carlos was enrolled in our ESOL program, he took classes during the day and worked as a janitor at night, often staying up late into the night to complete his homework and read online tutorials on coding. His goal was to learn how to create computer games. After successfully completing his ESOL classes, we recommended him to Year Up to learn more about computer science. Carlos just finished an internship at Harvard University and is currently looking for a full-time job. He plans to work while furthering his education in a college computer science program. We try to keep in touch with each student who comes through our program, and recently Carlos asked us, “Can I still visit El Centro to see people? You are like my family.”
Providing ESOL classes to individuals in Eastern Massachusetts goes far beyond the classroom. We help each of our students along their journey- whether it is with basic needs assistance (particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic), help with job applications, or simply making them feel welcomed and supported.
Although COVID-19 forced us to move adult education classes online, we’ve remained in contact with each student and look forward to getting back into the classroom soon.
For more information on Catholic Charities’ adult education, please click here: https://www.ccab.org/education