First Literacy Scholars 2018-2019

Jennifer

Jennifer

Jennifer is the first Colombian-American in her family, and the first to pursue a college education. In high school she was a talented violinist but dropped out in her senior year. Years later, the birth of her twin daughters motivated her to return to school, so she...

read more
Oumaima

Oumaima

Oumaima was always talented in math and languages, learning English as a third language at the age of twelve. Unfortunately, cultural restrictions in Morocco kept her from testing her skills and expanding her experiences. When Oumaima came to the United States she was...

read more
Priscilla

Priscilla

Priscilla finished middle school in Hong Kong before emigrating to the United States in 1980. When she arrived in the U.S. she went right to work at a restaurant and then moved on to work at a local bank where for 13 years she worked in customer service and billing....

read more
Oumaima

Dimas

When Dimas was 18 years old, he arrived in the United States from El Salvador with his family. Unable to speak English he could only find work with a cleaning company. He soon moved on to food service and a job with Dunkin’ Donuts while improving his language skills...

read more
Junying (Ethan)

Junying (Ethan)

When Junying moved to the US from China, he had very poor English language skills, but that did not stop him from trying to achieve his dreams. He worked at a Chinese restaurant as a food delivery driver while taking English classes. Now a confident English speaker,...

read more
Oumaima

Marie Regine

As a mother of a disabled daughter in Haiti, Marie needed to leave her home country to get the services needed for her daughter. Marie’s positive attitude and enthusiasm for learning has helped her address life’s obstacles to successfully complete her first two...

read more
Patrick

Patrick

Patrick was born and raised in Cameroon where education is very expensive. When his mother passed away in 2008, Patrick left school to work so his brothers could go to school. In the United States Patrick continued to work full time as a parking attendant to help...

read more
Eliene

Eliene

When Eliene moved to the US from Brazil, she spoke no English. As a mother with three children and a husband who worked, it was hard to find English classes that fit their busy schedule. Eliene taught herself English and was accepted to Northern Essex Community...

read more
Girlene

Girlene

As a mother of two boys, Girlene came to the United States looking for a better life for her family. She did not go to college in her home country of Brazil because it was too expensive, but it has always been her dream. Girlene worked hard to learn English to apply...

read more
Diandra

Diandra

Growing up in Boston, life was challenging for Diandra. She dropped out of high school at age 15 due to a challenging family dynamic and ten years later Diandra returned to school to complete her high school credentials. Diandra has now completed a successful first...

read more
Sherita

Sherita

A single mother of two young children from Jamaica, Sherita was determined to end the cycle of poverty for her family. She completed a successful first year at Bunker Hill Community College and is working toward her goal of applying to Bunker Hill’s nursing program....

read more
Kamala

Kamala

Kamala moved to the US from Thailand in 2014 to care for her ill stepfather. After caring for many sick family members in both the U.S. and Thailand, Kamala decided she wanted to become a nurse. Now in her second year of the pre-nursing program at Mass Bay Community...

read more
Dora

Dora

Dora graduated from high school in Guatemala and earned a degree in elementary education, but when she arrived in the US with no English language skills, it was as if she had no schooling at all. Her son, then 19 and going to college himself, encouraged her to go back...

read more
Vu

Vu

Vu arrived in the United States from Vietnam in August 2014 with his wife, son, and daughter. He studied English at St. Mark’s Community Education Center and immediately enrolled in courses at Bunker Hill Community College, but it was difficult to study while working...

read more
Allexandre

Allexandre

Alex is an artist from Cape Verde where he earned a degree in ecotourism. He was an air traffic controller before emigrating to the US to escape an environment of abuse and discrimination. Alex studied English at the Holyoke Community College Ludlow Adult Education...

read more
Adriana

Adriana

After waiting for almost ten years for her green card, Adriana was finally able to come to the United States from El Salvador. With business education and accounting experience, Adriana qualified for many related positions but needed to improve her English. She found...

read more
Jocelyne

Jocelyne

Jocelyne was just 16 years old when she left her home country of Haiti. Her father did not enroll her in school when she lived in Haiti, so she made the decision to come to the United States in hopes of receiving an education. When she arrived, she got a job as a...

read more
Yves

Yves

Yves came to the United States from Haiti in 2015. After witnessing the disastrous 2010 earthquake she realized she wanted to be a nurse and made the decision to pursue her dream in the U.S. When she arrived in the United States she was met with many challenges. She...

read more
Karen

Karen

When Karen came to the United States from Columbia, she knew that to succeed and understand this new culture she needed to learn the language. Karen quickly progressed through English and college transition programs at El Centro del Cardinal and in 2020 she completed...

read more
Damus

Damus

Damus came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends, found work housekeeping, and ate turkey sandwiches morning, noon, and night to save for her own home. She studied English...

read more
Edith

Edith

The youngest of several children, 10-year-old Edith was sent to live with her grandparents who put her to work for the adults in the household rather than send her to school. She was soon ill from exhaustion and hospitalized. Thanks to her doctor’s intervention, she...

read more