by Shani Bennett, Summer 2 Intern
There are a wide variety of community members who attend Manna’s English classes each week. They range in age from 7 to 65. Many of the students realize that English is a tool that can broaden their horizons and open doors for numerous job opportunities. Attending several of the English classes has granted me the opportunity to meet some of the most dedicated individuals I have ever met.
Jimmy attends the level three classes faithfully each week. He told me he heard about Manna’s English Classes while eating at a local restaurant and decided to attend. Although Jimmy had taken out a loan to study English at a local school in Managua, he still wanted to gain more experience before he applied for a job at the call center. When I met him, we spoke in English for an hour. He told me he was in the final stages of his interview process at the call center. Jimmy carried a notebook filled with practice phrases he could use when conversing with customers. He told me that he also spent nights rehearsing his English on YouTube. “The internet is a great tool,” said Jimmy.
Before class ended, Jimmy expressed how happy he was to sit and talk with me because he didn't get the opportunity to converse with North Americans often. I smiled and told him I was glad that I was able to help. A few days later, I received a friend request from Jimmy via Facebook. A message followed shortly after. Jimmy had gotten the job at the call center! I was so happy for him. He would now be able to pay off the loan he had taken out to learn English as well as help support his family financially.
Although Jimmy probably won’t be attending English classes any more, I am glad that I got a chance to meet him. Jimmy and I live separate lives but we are both finding ways to better ourselves. Even if that means taking out loans to study something that we know will benefit us in the end.