Student: Gina Hernandez Urbina
Gina has been in the United States for two and a half years and has been a student at VEP since 2012. She serves as a student ambassador and recently spoke at the 2014 Global Luncheon where she shared her story.
“Good morning every one, my name is Gina Urbina, I from Barranquilla-Colombia. My husband is Javier and we have three children. I worked as an accountant in Colombia and my goal is to be an accountant here. Now I care for my children and I have a part time job cleaning a school.
I came here with my family about 2 and half years ago. When I moved here I spoke little English. I knew only some letters, number, animal, colors and other little things. It was very hard for me, because I could not understand.
I visited the library very close to my house and I remember, I only said “English class?” The people at library gave me a card with the information for the Volunteer English Program. I called many times and finally I had an appointment.
I took the test and two months after I met with my tutor. I received some books and we spoke about our schedule.
My first tutor was a very nice teenager. She helped me very much. I learned many things with her. She went to college and now I have a wonderful lady, her name is Connie.
Today, maybe I can’t understand all but, I can resolve some situations in my life, for example in my children’s school, doctors, dentist, search information in the library and other things. In my last parents conference I had no translator and I could understand and share my opinion with the teachers. That was a great achievement for me.
The Volunteer English Program is a great opportunity for immigrants, because I know that to learn English is a principal step in the process of adaptation in this country. We can have better opportunities for job, education and other kinds of relationships.
In the past two years, my tutors help me with school papers, applications, resume and teach me how I can answer calls or how to answer the question in an interview.
Now I feel more confidence when I talk and in my relationships. My life is much better.
Today I want to say to the volunteer English Program and especially my tutors, staff and sponsors, thank you so much for your wonderful support and friendship.
Now, new tutors Thank you for helping others, we need your help and support, It’s not easy to be in a new place and not understand or speak the language.
You not only teach English, you can be change in our lives with your motivation and encouragement.
One more time, one thousand thank yous.”