CHATHAM LITERACY EMPLOYMENT THAT EMPOWERS
We want to share a student story that shows us how important it is to have people in our lives that prioritize literacy. People like YOU who donate the time, dedication, and commitment that makes all of our programs possible. Without you we would not be able to change the lives we are.
This is Margarita’s story:
Pittsboro Print Plus in Downtown Pittsboro is a locally owned print shop. Heather Johnson, the owner of Pittsboro Print Plus reached out to us when she hired a new employee, Margarita. Margarita is more than capable of doing the job she was hired to do. However, her new employee, Margarita, lacks some of the confidence that her job requires because English is not her first language. In her new position, she greets customers, takes orders, and performs other tasks that require her to interact with people who enter the business.
Margarita only reached the sixth grade in Mexico, she does not have a formal education here in the U.S.. Her story is a very familiar challenge that many of our students face: she had to stop going to school to work and to financially contribute to her family. The opportunity for Margarita that Heather has offered her in the new position is allowing her to take ESOL classes during her work hours, so they will be paid, and she can take classes twice a week. Margarita is so excited to get started and we have already found a tutor to help her improve her English language skills. We want to highlight Margarita’s courage and Heather’s flexibility and investment in Margarita and the transformational power of literacy.
Imagining a world where more employers, communities, and neighbors empower one another may seem like a dream to some but here in Chatham County it is our reality thank you to YOU!
In Their Words:
“I was very hesitant to take the position because I don’t think my English or technology skills are that great. I can’t believe that I get an opportunity to learn English right there at my workplace. Heather has been so encouraging and has been doing so much for me. I’d like to learn more English to be better at this job, I want to be understood and not ashamed of being in this country for so long without knowing the language. I want to take advantage of this opportunity for my family. I am head of my household so all of my obligations get in the way of learning. I am very happy to be in this program and I am going to do the best I can.”
-Margarita (ESOL Student)
“I have seen Margarita for many years at Compadres. She is extremely hard working and has a positive attitude. Such a smart lady! What better investment than to help a fine woman like Margarita and gain an employee with a positive outlook and stellar work ethic. I have been a volunteer with Chatham Literacy over the years – assisting with events and hosting planning meetings at my office. I have been to many Literacy Luncheons and am aware of the programs to help adult learners and also that Chatham Literacy helps people gain their US Citizenship. Hearing the stories directly from tutors and students is very moving. I am even more impressed with the capabilities and enthusiasm by Vicki Newell and the team at Chatham Literacy! They responded very quickly to our request for assistance and the process was comfortable and thorough. I was really unaware of how limited a person with ESL is when it comes to the most basic of technology. How difficult and frustrating that must be! For people who are extremely intelligent and willing to work, they just need to be taught these tools that they never used before due to the language barrier. This taps into a greater workforce than we realize. So Margarita and I take our time at the office. We found some programs to help practice the basics. And we have the very best customers who are kind and understanding. What better an environment is there to learn these new skills?”
– Heather Johnson (Pittsboro Print Plus Owner)