Wilfrido’s Next Step Forward

Wilfrido was walking down the street more than two years ago when he saw the sign: English Learning Center. He walked inside, down the stairs to the school basement, and enrolled that same day. When asked why he feels that learning English is important, he laughs as though the answer is obvious. “Because it opens your life. You’re going to some stores, going to restaurants. You want to make conversation, be social. I like that. I need to go to learn more and reading and writing too.”

“[English] opens your life. You’re going to some stores, going to restaurants. You want to make conversation, be social. I like that. I need to go to learn more.”

Since then, Wilfrido has attended English classes at the ELC, coming and going as his work schedule allows. When his boss moved him to the night shift last year, he had to stop coming so he could sleep during the day. But Wilfrido continued to learn on the job. “When I’m working, it’s difficult when you don’t understand what people say. They tell you, ‘Pick up there or carry there.’ What’s that? But little by little, I understand.”

Celebrating Graduation

In March this year, a work accident forced Wilfrido to take a leave from work. He decided to use this time to return to school. However, he learned he’d made more progress than he thought. He tested into our most advanced level English class, and staff told him he’d be ready to graduate this spring!

Wilfrido finished the semester and celebrated his achievement during our spring semester party. Then he began GED classes the following week! When he returns to work, he’ll reduce his hours to part-time so he can continue with school. He hopes to become a businessman, perhaps manage a restaurant or a store. He says, “I’m very happy. I finish my class. Big dream. My life’s going. My learning’s going. If I dedicate, I think it’s easy. Just need every day there, learning on the computers or reading.”

“I’m very happy. I finish my class. Big dream. My life’s going. My learning’s going.”

Finding Community

Although Wilfrido’s excited for this next step in his journey, he’ll miss the community of the ELC. “I like people here because everybody has different ideas, different languages. Everybody wants learning. You get like family because you’re knowing each person and seeing each other every day. You need that.”

On a larger scale, Wilfrido also believes that he’s found his community here in Minnesota. “This is the best place for me. I love it. I have many friends. I’m happy here. You have many opportunities for the bus, jobs, and everything here at your hands.”

Wilfrido wants others to know that immigrants, whether from Mexico like him or other places in the world, come here because there is need. “[People are] looking for best life. It’s true because I am here. And if you are coming too, open your eyes and take some class to better your life. Keep going. Always forward.”

“[People are] looking for best life. It’s true because I am here…Keep going. Always forward.”

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English Learning Center

2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.874.9963
Fax | 612.871.0017