Maria is a recent US Citizen and now helps others pass their citizenship tests.

From student to tutor, Maria is helping others overcome barriers

When Maria came to Madison from Colombia, she had difficulty understanding English and lacked confidence when speaking. Despite these challenges, she had two goals for herself: to become a U.S. citizen and to be able to give back to her new community. With the support of Literacy Network, she was able to accomplish both goals. A friend who was a learner at Literacy Network suggested that Maria join the citizenship program in Fall 2019. In March 2020, she passed her citizenship test and attended her citizenship ceremony, just days before the pandemic lockdown took effect.

Maria credits her success to the citizenship class, which she described as more like going to a “family meeting.” She learned a lot. Classes always went by fast. She always left feeling happy about her accomplishments. Now that Maria is a citizen, she leaves citizenship class as a “happy, smiling” tutor. After receiving her citizenship, Maria accomplished her second goal and became a tutor for the citizenship program. She now supports her learners on their citizenship journeys via Zoom. One of her learners even passed their citizenship test recently. Maria was extremely proud and excited to share her learner’s accomplishment with her family.

Not only is Maria proud of her learners’ accomplishments, she is very proud of her own as well. She is delighted that she has improved her English skills, become a U.S. citizen, and is also helping others gain U.S. citizenship. Maria’s experiences with Literacy Network continue to be exciting. She looks forward to continuing her English language learning journey, improving her pronunciation and conversational skills.

Stephanie Le is a member of the Literacy Network Development & Marketing Committee

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