Our Adult Employment Program at Center for Family Life serves Sunset Park residents as well as those in neighboring Brooklyn communities. Our goal is to prepare for and find full-time work opportunities for the clients we serve, many of whom are among the newest New Yorkers. As so many of our clients are non-English speakers, our Adult Employment Program offers free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, paid for with generous funding provided by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the New York City Council. These classes give our clients the opportunity to learn English which is useful in so many areas of life in New York City including getting a job, riding public transportation, going to the doctor, visiting their children’s school and more.
In Spring, 2023, CFL held a total of 6 ESOL classes and we are so proud of the accomplishments of the 114 students who received a Certificate of Completion! At graduations held in June we celebrated by recognizing each student’s accomplishments and appreciating all the hard work put in by instructors and staff, all while enjoying delicious food and desserts brought in by students.
This month, we are focusing on the positive impact these classes have on our client’s lives by sharing CFL ESOL instructor reflections on teaching and a student success story.
CFL ESOL Instructor Reflection: Julian Colón
CFL ESOL Counselor Reflection: Jessica Garcia
CFL ESOL Instructor Reflection: Stefan Fernández
“The students’ determination to learn and better their lives through language acquisition has been truly awe-inspiring. We’ve laughed, faced challenges, and celebrated victories together. It’s been heartening to witness how our small classroom evolved into a tight-knit community where diversity was cherished, and every individual’s progress was celebrated. Watching my students grow and flourish over the semester has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role as an instructor.
The spring semester at the Center has been an unforgettable experience. It has reinforced my love for teaching English as a second language and solidified the belief that education has the power to create lasting, positive change in people’s lives.”
CFL ESOL Student Success Story: Jose E.
Jose is a high school graduate from Honduras who came to the United States in March of 2022. He was in Sunset Park just over a week before coming to the Center to inquire about ESOL classes. Jose worked diligently to refine his language abilities. Since completing the ESOL course here at CFL, he has sought additional services from our Adult Employment Program including help with resume writing, preparing for interviews in English and exploring job opportunities. During the pandemic, Jose accepted a temporary position as a cleaner with the MTA system and when his temporary job ended, he returned to CFL to continue his job search. Jose is now a Resident Advisor at a migrant’s shelter and is planning to enroll in college to continue his education. He says that he is proud and thankful that he can share his experience and knowledge of resources with other immigrants.
We are so honored to have the opportunity to help clients learn English to improve their lives here in the United States and we are grateful for all that we learn from our amazing students as they pursue their education. Stories like Jose’s are why we do what we do, and we are so thankful for the support of our donors and grant partners for enabling us to help our clients in this way.