More Stories by SCALE Students
Four ABE III students, two ESOL students, and two ASE students talk about their experiences at SCALE
As an English as a second language student, it is a challenge and also a pleasure to be at SCALE surrounded by professional teachers like Frank Reidy and Tom Glannon, a wonderful counselor, Laura Kranis, and Susan Riley, the Program Administrator, who all give so much to help all of the students. They give us self-confidence and help us realize that our dreams will come true if we work hard. I had the best experience this year. Our first task each day in class was to read the newspaper, and one day without any help I could explain a whole story. I realize how important it is to read everyday, and I can see the progress in my life by reading everyday. If you have a dream to complete high school or get your ADP, DO NOT GIVE UP! Remember, there are still people who care about your future, like people at SCALE. – C.M.
My experience at SCALE has been a reward. I have improved my reading, writing, and math skills, since 2004. My goal is to get my high school diploma. After this goal I’m thinking of taking classes in accounting at the community college. SCALE is a great place for people to achieve their goal. SCALE has wonderful friendly talented teachers. My classmates are great mates to work with as a team. With my experience I recommend everyone to achieve their goal at SCALE. -- L.F.
My experience with SCALE is great. When I first arrived people made me feel comfortable and welcomed. After they reviewed my scores I was placed in a class with a super teacher and great students; as time passed I came to care about them a great deal. Since I’ve been in SCALE I have learned a lot and am still working hard to get what I came for—my diploma. My advice to potential students is to come and find out what SCALE can offer. The knowledge that you can get from the teachers and the effort from fellow students can help you make your dreams came true with a better education. -- M.S.
My experience at SCALE has been very pleasant. I got to meet the nicest teachers and fellow students. SCALE has helped me with my reading and writing skills. Sometimes I wish that they could give us an extra day during the week. Coming to SCALE is like opening doors to a new future. I know that without a high school diploma I won’t have a future. My advice to all the people out here who don’t have a diploma is to come to SCALE, no matter the age or race of the individual. Just come in and join SCALE. Being at SCALE is one of the best experiences I’ve had and it will change my life for a better new future ahead. -- L.V.
Joao's Story in Portuguese
O meu nome e Joao Lopes. Sou Portugues e cheguei aos Estados Unidos em Abril de 1996. Pouco tempo depois tomei conhecimento da existencia do SCALE atraves de um amigo que frequentava a escola naquela altura. Algum tempo depois matriculei-me e obtive vaga em Fevereiro de 1998. Desde entao, tenho conseguido bastante progresso na aprendizagem da lingua Inglesa a todos os niveis, o que me tem ajudado de sobremaneira numa integracao mais rapida, sadia e solida neste novo pais. Estou no quarto semestre consecutivo de estudo no SCALE e tenho passado por extraordinarias experiencias durante a aprendizagem da lingua Inglesa. Os professores sao altamente conceituados e tem muito experiencia no ensinamento da lingua Inglesa a imigrantes. A minha experiencia pessoal tem sido muito positiva enquanto aluno do SCALE. O SCALE e uma escola que eu recomendo sem hesitacao a qualquer pessoa que ao chegar aos Estados Unidos tenha dificuldades no dominio da lingua Inglesa.
Joao's Story in English
My name is Joao Lopes. I am Portuguese. I arrived in the United States in April of 1996. A few months after that, I knew about SCALE because a friend of mind who was taking classes at SCALE recommended to me this school. A while after that, I registered myself and got a vacant place in February of 1998. Since then, I have made so much progress learning the English language. That has helped me a lot to have a better, faster, and stronger integration in this new country. This is my fourth consecutive semester of studying at SCALE. I have had a lot of good experiences during my studies in English. The teachers are well-accredited and have a lot of experience teaching the English language to immigrants. My personal experience has been very positive while a SCALE student. SCALE is a school that I would recommend without hesitation to anyone who has arrived in the United States and has difficulties dominating the English language.
Blanca's Story in Spanish Esta es una Historia Acerca de mi Vida. Yo vine de el Salvador a los Estados Unidos en 1990. Al principio fue muy dificil para me porque no hablaba Ingles. Cuando alguien hablaba conmigo me sentia muy mal porque no podia responderle, pero a los pocos meses comenze a asistir a las clases de Ingles. Ahora se Ingles y me siento comoda hablando. Yo puedo hablar con otras personas y ellas me entienden. Yo se que es dificil ser madre, esposa y trabajar al mismo tiempo. Esto es bastante, pero es lo mejor que podemos hacer para tener una mejor vida en el futuro. Algunas personas vienen a este pais y nunca van a la escuela. Algunas veces ellos no pueden ir a la escuela porque necesitan trabajar para mantener a la familia que tienen aqui y en sus paises. No es facil encontrar el tiempo, sin embargo debemos hacer el sacreficio de separar un tiempo para ir a la escuela porque necesitamos aprender el idioma. Ahora me siento tan bien cuando hablo Ingles y las personas me entienden. Yo quiero darle las grcias a mi maestra por ensenarme a hablar Ingles y por respondar mis preguntas. Gracias a todas las maestras en este pais por ayudar a los imigrantes como yo a aprender Ingles y asi mejorar la calidad de nuestras vidas. Blanca's Story in English This is a story about my life. I came from El Salvador to the United States in 1990. At the beginning it was very difficult for me because I did not understand English. When somebody spoke to me I felt bad, but in a few months I started going to school. Now I know English and I feel comfortable speaking. I can speak with other people and they understand me. I know it is difficult to be a mother, wife, and to work at the same time. There is too much to do, but it is the best we can do to have a better life in the future. Some people come to this country and they never go to school. Sometimes they cannot go to school because they must work to support the family they have here and the family they have back in their countries. It is not easy to find the time, However we should make the sacrifice to spend few hours a week to go to school because we need to learn the language. I feel so good now when I speak English and people understand me well. I want to say thank you to my teacher for teaching me to speak English and for answering my questions. Thank you to all the teachers in this country for helping immigrants like me to learn English and therefore helping us improve the quality of our life.
Once, I was a person with very low self-esteem. My dreams of becoming a registered nurse were, I thought, over, because of my failing health (stroke and arthritis). Though this occurred, I was able to pick myself up through God's Grace. I first became a Christian by joining the Salvation Army. Then I became a devoted mother, grandmother and friend whenever needed. But somehow this was not enough. My children were watching me slip in and out of depression. They decided to give me a little advice: education! This was a big word of encouragement. Seeing the fear of failure, I began to get pep talks from my children and grandchildren, and also friends. They all said, "Go for it." Even the grandchildren made this remark, which I took to be very comical: "You maybe can't walk or run fast, Nana, but we sure can't get anything over on you. Your brain still works just fine." I took their advice. Having little money, I first had to know where to go to ask for help, and I did. My blessed son, Thaddeus, has cerebral palsy. I knew where to try because of our handicaps: Mass Rehab. I was given an excellent counselor who referred me to SCALE, Somerville's Adult Learning Center. SCALE is a program with wonderful, talented teachers. Not only are they good at their jobs, but also they go to seminars to improve their skills. And it really works; as we say, they reach outside the box. Each person sent to them is handled differently, but correctly. They help each of us to comprehend things we never would have been able to without their careful nourishment of our minds. What excitement it stirs in us! I believe you should never give up. Do SCALE's program, and they will help you get on the right track to the future again. My goal was to work in Human Resources, and now I have confidence that I can make a difference once again. I hope to be a social worker, helping children or adults in some way. "Once a caregiver, always a caregiver." Bless you.
Doris's Story SCALE has changed my life and dreams. I never thought I would get my GED and go on to further my education. Thirteen years ago, I came back to school to help my mother to get her GED. Through encouraging her, I was also encouraging myself. Due to her low self-esteem and also mine, we quit. In 1997, the Mothers to Work Program was created, and that's how I was introduced to SCALE. I didn't take it seriously due to my alcoholism and the abusive men in my life. I wasn't able to focus on my education, so I quit again. I knew I needed a lot of work. Eileen, in the GED department, said that I'd be back to finish my education, and I knew I would. I thought a lot about her words, and they gave me the self-esteem to come back. In the fall of 2000, I came back, due to gaining my sobriety. I had a spiritual awakening call telling me to finish school and to go on with my life. I wanted to be somebody for my children to look up to. I wanted them to be proud of me, but I wasn't proud of myself. Everybody at SCALE helped me. They gave me faith, hope, and strength to go on. They have been compassionate in every situation that I've had in dealing with my day-to-day life. Every day it's a task to get to school because I have a lot of family issues. Not having a vehicle makes it hard, and I almost didn't have a place to live. I also had medical problems. But through all of this, I'm still here. I'm also still in AA and a women's meeting to help me not get involved with another abusive relationship. Studying at night has helped me a lot because I could think about what I read before I go to sleep. My teacher is very outgoing and brings us right to the point. The homework she gives me has helped me stay focused. Classmates also help me. We even exchanged phone numbers, and we talk at night. Getting to know the people who are going through the same thing I'm going through helped me achieve my goals. On May 31, 2001, I got my GED! I never thought I would get this far. Even though I'll always have struggles, I know I will still continue to further my education. My self-esteem is up, but I need to bring it up more. I have to have surgery on my leg this summer, but I'm still going to college in the fall. I never thought I could do that before. This place has given me the self-esteem I need to go on, to better myself. Nothing is going to stop me. I have hope for the future. I can see my dreams now, and I can feel them happening on a day-to-day basis. I feel like I'm a new tree growing and blossoming in all different directions. And I have direction now in my life, where before, I had no direction. I felt like a nobody, but today I feel great. I want to make my mother, my friends, and my children proud of me. I feel more calm since I've gotten my GED because now I know I'm not stupid. At SCALE, I learned I am somebody. Through talking to people, I could feel myself climbing up the ladder, every day, little by little. I feel wanted here, and that has helped me to learn more, and more easily. My advice to other students is: Don't ever quit reaching for your dreams because all we need is a little helping hand to go on to the next step. Being on time is important because if you miss something, you may get thrown off course. You should also talk about your problems so the school will know and can help you know your time frame and meet your standards. Working together does help. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. Make sure you stay focused because if you hang with the pigeons, you'll become a pigeon. However, if you hang with the eagles, you'll soar like an eagle. I thank everyone who has helped me get this far because I would never have gotten this far without all of you, and I will carry all of you in my heart forever.