Matilde’s Story

///Matilde’s Story

Matilde’s Story

Education comes in many shapes and sizes. From learning the alphabet in kindergarten to filing taxes as an adult, educational challenges are encountered throughout one’s lifetime. For many newcomers to the United States, this challenge is learning to speak English. It is difficult to seek out assistance as an adult, especially when resources are limited. This is how Matilde felt in 2004 when her family moved to Colorado where her husband found a good job. With perseverance and a good attitude, Matilde was able to find work as a caretaker and a house cleaner. She and her husband learned enough English to get by with help from their children who learned to speak English fluently at school.

However, she was frustrated with relying on her children to help communicate with doctors and their teachers. She wanted to take English as a Second Language classes (ESL), but wasn’t sure where to begin. In the past she had been embarrassed and discouraged when her English was misunderstood. “I would just become quiet and give up,” Matilde admitted. A friend mentioned she was taking ESL classes from Catholic Charities.

Matilde’s husband was reluctant. He thought the classes were too far from their home and felt her English was good enough. However, she was eager to become independent, so she began to attend biweekly classes. “It wasn’t easy,” Matilde admits. She was overwhelmed with information in her first few classes, but worked hard in class and began to feel more confident and comfortable speaking English. “I know my English is not perfect,” Matilde said, “but I could talk to anyone and I wouldn’t feel nervous.” While taking classes, Matilde encountered a situation where her ESL lessons became applicable to her daily life. Her family had been renting a home for nearly seven years and in early 2014, maintenance issues arose with several appliances. She mentioned them to her landlord, but felt that she was being ignored. Months passed and the issues began to pile up. She told her ESL teacher about the problem, who encouraged Matilde to write a formal letter to her landlord. In her letter, Matilde explained her frustration and warned the landlord that she would send the letter to the city if the problems were not resolved. Three days after the landlord received the letter, all of the maintenance issues were fixed.

“It was incredible,” Matilde said, “I didn’t know a simple letter could do so much. Our relationship with the landlord is getting better.” Matilde’s husband is very proud of her and now encourages her education. “He knows when my classes are,” she said, “and he says ‘you better hurry, you can’t miss class!’” She feels empowered to pursue bigger goals. “My next step is to get better at using the computer so I can take GED classes,” she said. “Before ESL classes, I was too afraid to do anything. Now I can do everything.”

Education comes in many shapes and sizes.  From learning the alphabet in kindergarten to filing taxes as an adult, educational challenges are encountered throughout one’s lifetime.  For many newcomers to the United States, this challenge is learning to speak English.   It can be difficult to seek out assistance as an adult, especially when resources are limited.  This is how Matilde felt in 2004 when her family moved to Colorado where her husband found a good job.

With perseverance and a good attitude, Matilde was able to find work as a caretaker and a house cleaner.  She and her husband learned enough English to get by with help from their children who learned to speak English fluently at school.  However, she was frustrated with relying on her children to help communicate with doctors and their teachers.  She wanted to take English as a Second Language classes (ESL), but wasn’t sure where to begin.  In the past she had been embarrassed and discouraged when her English was misunderstood.  “I would just become quiet and give up,” Matilde admitted.  A friend mentioned she was taking ESL classes from Catholic Charities.  Matilde’s husband was reluctant.  He thought the classes were too far from their home and felt her English was good enough.  However, she was eager to become independent, so she began to attend biweekly classes.  “It wasn’t easy,” Matilde admits.  She was overwhelmed with information in her first few classes, but worked hard in class and began to feel more confident and comfortable speaking English.  “I know my English is not perfect,” Matilde said, “but I could talk to anyone and I wouldn’t feel nervous.”

While taking classes, Matilde encountered a situation where her ESL lessons became applicable to her daily life.  Her family had been renting a home for nearly seven years and in early 2014, maintenance issues arose with several appliances.  She mentioned them to her landlord, but felt that she was being ignored.  Months passed and the issues began to pile up.  She told her ESL teacher about the problem and she encouraged Matilde to write a formal letter to her landlord.  In her letter, Matilde explained her frustration and warned the landlord that she would send the letter to the city if the problems were not resolved.  Three days after the landlord received the letter, all of the maintenance issues were fixed.  “It was incredible,” Matilde said, “I didn’t know a simple letter could do so much.  Our relationship with the landlord is getting better.”

Matilde’s husband is very proud of her and now encourages her education.  “He knows when my classes are,” she said, “and he says ‘you better hurry, you can’t miss class!’” She feels empowered to pursue bigger goals.  “My next step is to get better at using the computer so I can take GED classes,” she said. “Before ESL classes, I was too afraid to do anything. Now I can do everything.”

2018-01-17T08:48:03+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Client Stories, Stories|

Contact Info

228 North Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Phone: (719) 636-2345

Fax: (719) 636-1216