From the Field – Meet Literacy Partners April and Abi

Story Provided by Literacy Program Tutor April Reed

Abi is a twenty-six-year-old woman, originally from El Salvador, who is an exceptional student in every way. In addition to twice-weekly lessons with me, Abi studies English on her own using Rosetta Stone, our homework or simply by watching a movie in English, for at least five hours a week and sometimes as many as 40.

Abi was recently preparing for her interview to become a U.S. citizen. She’d waited two years for the interview and had already prepared quite well, but she had more work ahead of her to gain a thorough understanding of all the terms on the forms.

The terms on the forms were no joke: habitual drunkard, parole or probation, paramilitary unit, totalitarian government, communist regime, detention center, etc. It was essential that she made the final push in her studying to so she could honestly answer if she were asked, “Have you ever been a member of a paramilitary unit, and do you know what that means?”

Abi chose to take her interview in English, though she had the option of using an interpreter. To practice for her interview, we rehearsed application questions together.

Abi also practiced with flashcards for the 100 questions and answers about the U.S. government. She knew she would be asked six of the questions but not which six, so she committed herself to memorizing all of the answers. In the end, she knew more facts about our government than I did.

On July 3rd, Abi was sworn in as a United States citizen. She passed her interview with flying colors. I am so proud of her, and of us.

Learn more about the Literacy Program and how you can become a volunteer tutor to support students like Abi.

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