Story of Hope | Magaly

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Three years ago, Magaly picked up a flier for an English as a Second Language (ESL) class offered through Catholic Charities. She knew that learning more English would help her family achieve their goals, including obtaining citizenship, but she was concerned about childcare and how she was going to juggle work and school with taking care of a family. Childcare had not been an option at any of the other ESL classes she’d researched, but when she found out that her children would be able to attend an Early Literacy Program while she was in ESL classes, she decided to sign up.

For Magaly, Catholic Charities provided the perfect combination of services: classes that worked with her family’s schedule, a safe place for her children to continue focusing on their education, and a way to learn more about obtaining U.S. Citizenship. She began attending classes in the evening twice a week, where she learned about “pronunciation and studied social studies, economics, and math.” With the help of her ESL teachers, Magaly’s English improved tremendously, and she decided to pursue her broader goal; U.S. Citizenship. That’s when she decided to register for a Citizenship Class that was also offered through Catholic Charities.

In Citizenship Classes, teachers continued to work with her on speaking and pronunciation while also helping her prepare for the Citizenship exam by covering some of the harder exam questions. She said, “The class made her realize that continuing her English education was the best way to prepare for citizenship.”
Magaly’s husband, Pedro, began taking ESL classes shortly after Magaly and has plans to begin the Citizenship Class as well. He said the classes had helped him not only at work but even in his own home. Pedro’s interactions with co-workers have become easier, he has a fuller understanding of his job, and he can understand his children, who speak primarily English, better too. ESL classes have helped both Magaly and Pedro become more involved in their children’s education and in their lives. Letters home have become easier to read; they can speak with teachers and fellow parents, hold conversations with their children, and help with homework assignments when the need arises. Their children’s homework even helps Magaly and Pedro improve their own English, and now they can continue to support their children’s education outside of the classroom.

Magaly and Pedro understand the importance of education for everyone, and they know that Catholic Charities has been an integral part of their road to success. They are so grateful that they donate to the Marian House as a way of giving back to the community that is helping them.

Magaly and Pedro have been legal residents pursuing a path of U.S. Citizenship for 14 years, and they have never stopped pursuing their dreams. In April, Magaly became an official U.S. Citizen, and Pedro continues to pursue citizenship himself. They found that education and learning English are essential components to their success, and the Catholic Charities’ ESL Program and the Citizenship Class have been crucial steps along the way.

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