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Letter: Become a tutor

There is a community of immigrants who are eager to assimilate into the Roaring Fork Valley and have leapt at the opportunity to learn English to improve their standard of living.

Maria is one of those people. At eight months pregnant, Maria and I were matched in October to begin a tutoring relationship for her to learn English after I received training from English in Action. I don’t speak Spanish, and she spoke intermediate-level English after living in the U.S. for seven years.

At our weekly meetings, we covered the basics, including grammar, writing complete sentences and translating words. Maria was an exceptional student and always exceeded the homework that was assigned. We easily fell into a rhythm of working together.

A few weeks into our meetings, Maria delivered her baby by C-section. Four days after she had her baby, I was astounded when she showed up at our weekly meeting, homework done, ready to learn! I don’t know where she found the energy to finish her work, let alone come to a tutoring session.

She is determined to learn English so she can run her own business. She has more motivation than most people I know. In her first month in her new business, she was the top salesperson for a company that hires independent entrepreneurs to work for them. She wants to live the American dream of success, happiness and being present to her family. Her infectious enthusiasm for her work and for creating the life she wants to live inspires me and those who meet her.

What started out as a simple tutoring relationship has turned into a wonderful friendship inspired by Maria’s vision to be a successful entrepreneur. Our weekly, one-hour meetings are fun, educational and inspirational. Watching Maria improve her English and grow her business has been so rewarding for me and far exceeded any expectation I had when I became a tutor for English in Action.

The Basalt-based nonprofit English in Action has had a profound effect on hundreds of students’ and tutors’ lives. There are 130 students throughout the valley waiting for a tutor right now. You can become a tutor after attending a training session in one evening. The next session is today. To register, please email info@englishinaction.org or visit the website at http://www.englishinaction.org. Becoming a tutor could have a meaningful impact on your life.

Lisa Chiles

Aspen


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