From Local Good Center Student to Staff: Mariana’s Story

Posted on Feb 26, 2024

From Local Good Center Student to Staff: Mariana’s Story

In the heart of our community lies a place of empowerment, access, transformation and belonging: the Local Good Center. Over the years, this haven has witnessed countless success stories, each a testament to the power of unity and the pursuit of knowledge. One such story is that of Mariana, a determined Venezuelan immigrant who found her path to success through the doors of the Local Good Center. 

In March 2015, Mariana stumbled upon the Local Good Center. Drawn by a street sign advertising a free ESL class, Mariana knew she had discovered a place that could help her pursue her goal of learning English. For two and a half years, Mariana immersed herself in the ESL program. The program offered more than language learning—it unveiled a world of diverse cultures through fellow students, fostering understanding and unity.

Mariana reflected on her experience, stating,"I really enjoyed every class. The conversations in the classroom and with the volunteers were so fun. I enjoyed learning about cultures through other students, and I recognize the passion and love that every volunteer teacher showed us (the students)." Mariana was one of the very first students to graduate out of the program by completing all five class levels offered.   

 

A Continuing Journey 

As Mariana's journey through the ESL program came to an end, she was invited to begin a new journey as a volunteer.  Mariana contributed by assisting teachers and supporting hospitality efforts, bridging the gap between her journey as a student and her blossoming role as a vital member of the center's community. 

Mariana's story took a long-awaited turn when her spousal visa was converted to permanent residency, opening doors to a new chapter of her life: employment. With the ability to work in the United States, Mariana set her sights on further personal and professional growth.  

Eager to take advantage of her newfound opportunities, Mariana dove into the Local Good Center's Job Readiness program. Here, she refined her professional skills, created a resume, and practiced her interview skills. The program equipped her with tangible skills but also with the confidence to step into the next phase of her journey. When a job opening emerged at the Local Good Center, Mariana seized the opportunity and applied. Her dedication, coupled with her skills and passion, shone through. She was soon offered a position as the center's administrative assistant—a testament to her transformation and the center's belief in her potential. 


A Message of Hope 

Mariana's journey is an embodiment of resilience and hope. As she reflects on her experience, she offers advice to those facing challenges, especially immigrants. "Sometimes adapting yourself to a new country, new culture, and new language, can be very difficult and even scary, but it is worth taking the risk," Mariana shares, emphasizing the importance of seeking out supportive communities like the Local Good Center. 

In Mariana's journey from a seeker of education to a beacon of inspiration, the Local Good Center's mission shines brightly. Her story highlights the center's vital role in fostering growth, empowerment, access, and unity.   

For more info about the Local Good Center, including ways to get involved, visit https://www.localgoodcenter.org/

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