It is very difficult to find a job nowadays, but is harder to find a job that can make a difference in people’s lives. After I finished my studies, I immediately started looking for a job. One of the first calls I received was from Patti Donnelly, the Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV). I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was excited because the mission of LCNV was something that appealed to my interests and nervous because I really wanted to prove to Patti and Randi Littman, Senior Director of Operations, that I could be an asset to LCNV.
During my interview, I explained to Patti and Randi, among other things, that I understood their students because my family has a few members that do not speak English. I came to the United States very young, and I had to make my way through the Fairfax County English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. I was very fortunate to get a job offer which I happily accepted.
I have been a member of the LCNV staff for about three weeks now, and in that time, I have found it to be incredibly rewarding. While most of my responsibilities at LCNV are administrative, I have had those instances where I have felt like I helped someone. For instance, when I am filling out a profile for a new ESOL student, we always ask why they want to learn English.
Here are some of the answers I have gotten in these past three weeks:
- I would like to communicate with my daughter’s teachers
- I do not want to live my life cleaning offices
- I want to become a U.S. citizen
- I want to communicate better at work
These are all worth while goals, and LCNV is helping these people achieve those goals. Most of the students at LCNV understand that there is a long road ahead of them, but they also understand that there is no better time to start learning then today. This type of dedication is invigorating and motivating.
If you ever wanted to be part of a worthwhile organization then you should join LCNV as a volunteer or donate to help our cause. I assure you that if you decide to become a volunteer you will find a great group of people to work with, and if you decide to donate your money will be well spent.
~Jose Flores, Executive Assistant