After going to a friend’s party, Wanik realized how far he’d come. For one of the first times, he hadn’t been afraid to talk freely with others. He’d let go of his fear.
“I had a good time,” Wanik recalls. “My problem was the fear about using English in front of Americans…but my tutor has helped me to overcome the fear.”
Wanik came to the Literacy Network to improve his English speaking skills. A native of Korea, Wanik found speaking a challenge when he arrived in the U.S. But, after being matched him with tutor Nina Loeffler, things began to change.
He recalls his tutor telling him, “You’re very brave.” That reinforcement, the acknowledgment that he was making strides, helped him persevere.
Nina and Wanik meet here three to four times a week. She’s helping him apply for Grad school. And, since he’s skilled with computers, he’s helping her on a personal project.
“I sometimes feel touched with her effort for me because she does everything she can for me to improve my English,” Wanik says.
Now that he feels more comfortable speaking, Wanik’s increasingly interested in giving back to the community. He wants to bring a little more good into the world.
“This experience makes me think about helping other people.”