In January, 30 women from the organization ARISE enrolled in distance learning English-as-a-New Language (ENL) courses that will last the duration of the spring semester, January to May. Virginia Santana is in the Level 3 class on Friday afternoons. Below is her testimony which focuses on the impact PuenTec has had on both ARISE and MACC in terms of education.
“I would like to share my personal experience about taking these classes: My name is Virginia Santana and I came from Mexico about 30 years ago. I have been working with ARISE for 25 years. Back then I did not know any English. Most of what I know now I learned by working with ARISE. Lodie, our English teacher, is helping us create a safe and relax environment where we feel welcome, valued and understood. In one of the classes, I once shared my dream of going to college to become a teacher. I also shared that this dream was fading as time went by. But, now that I am taking classes with MACC I learned that I have been a teacher all these years without realizing it. Also, Lodie help us feel safe to share, sing, pray, cry, laugh and learn. I have also grown spiritually and strengthened my self-confidence and try to share this with everybody I can. I tell them, ‘Yes, I’m going to college and I am also taking level 3 English classes.’ In all, I’m very grateful with God but also with ARISE and MACC. I want to help others realize that these classes are not just for learning English but an opportunity for personal growth. I can not wait to continue with these MACC classes. After all, ARISE values and beliefs are very interconnected with MACC’s. They are a perfect fit for me.” – Virginia Santana