News & Blog: Learner Stories


Guest Blogger: Jennifer Summers, Customized Workplace English Coordinator

Maria Zamudio is a busy woman with a heart for others and a plan to get where she wants to be. She currently works for a law firm, where she helps people in the Hispanic community to address their needs. Her ultimate goal is to be a lawyer in the US so that she can continue serving her community.

Maria blog photoMaria came to Grand Rapids from Mexico almost five years ago. After hearing about the Literacy Center’s free ESL classes from the Hispanic Center, Maria enrolled. She quickly improved her English skills in the Literacy Center’s class, and then began studying at Wyoming Adult Education to get her GED. She has already registered for fall classes at GRCC so that she can work on her intermediate goal of becoming a legal assistant.

In addition to working and taking classes at the Literacy Center and Wyoming Adult Education, Maria also has a family with three children. When asked her how she makes time to prioritize her education, Maria said that being able to read and speak English is very important for her. She has made changes in her work schedule, her family’s schedule, and in her own lifestyle so that she can attend classes. While these changes may not be for everyone, she has made them work for her because of the value she places on her education.

Maria doesn’t know how long it will take her to study to become a lawyer, but she sees the work that they do and wants to do the Maria Class Photosame. She is committed to continuing her English education: “When I go to court or go to the police department, I speak English,” Maria says.

“It’s very important for me to speak English very well.”

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