Immigrants' Stories

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Littleton Immigrant Resources Center (LIRC) matches community volunteers with students who want to improve their English and study for their naturalization exam.

ESL students go on to find jobs


Veronica Work Photo_optVeronica

Veronica was a practicing dentist in her home country of Ecuador. After she completed her dental degree, she furthered her education with a master’s degree in prosthodontics.  Then she operated her own clinic for six years in her hometown Loja. She met her American husband while he was working in the Peace Corps. They now live in Colorado with their daughter. Veronica writes:

Left quotes It was fantastic to go to Bemis library to learn to talk English, it helped me a lot with the communication, pronunciation and especially it gave me the confidence that I needed it to work as a dental assistant. 

Soo Yeon Work Photo_optSoo Yeon

I’m Soo Yeon Seong from South Korea. I met my husband in South Korea in 2012. We had dated there but my husband had to move back to the U.S. for his PhD. We dated long distance for about 2 years until he proposed in the summer of 2016. We married in South Korea in December 2016. One year after I applied for my green card, I finally got it! I moved to the U.S. at the end of February, 2018. I thought my English wasn’t good enough to get a job here so I took the English class at Littleton Library. It worked out well. I could practice speaking, learn grammars, read articles. I’m also taking tutoring and my tutor helps me a lot.

I was a physical education teacher in South Korea. I was looking for a job where I could teach physical exercise. I heard the new Earth Treks, the biggest climbing gym in the U.S., was going to open in Englewood. So I applied for an instructor position, and I got the job. I’m really enjoying this job so far. Having job makes me feel that I’m part of this society. I think with this job, I can improve my English even more. 

I just got my Colorado teaching license! As my English gets more natural, I will apply for a teaching job in the public schools next year. 

Raphael Lleras_optRafael

Rafael moved to Colorado from Venezuela in his early 60’s. A couple of his sons were already living here with their families. Rafael came with very little English, and immediately started taking ESL classes at the LIRC. After two years of studying English, he also started volunteering as a citizenship teacher for Spanish-speakers. Eventually, Rafael applied for and got a job with the Denver YMCA. He now works with bilingual children at the Y’s after school programs. The English classes at the LIRC gave Rafael the necessary skills to start working in the community. He is now working so much that he cannot attend English classes. However, he still serves as a volunteer, tutoring students to help prepare them for their citizenship interview.

Kewalee Work Photo_optKewalee

My name is Kewalee and I’m from Thailand. As the picture shows, I work as Pharmacy Technician and at work I am called Katie. I had studied English as a second language (ESL) last summer. I was so excited to meet new classmates and learn more about English and I have learned a lot. I’d studied until December 2018. I would say a part of it helped me get a job.
I am confident to speak English now. I’m not afraid to speak out loud even though I say something wrong somebody will help me correct it.  

Finally I really want to thank my teachers for all your help and support me.

Consuelo Work Photo_optConsuelo

Coming to the United States is never an easy decision. By leaving our countries we are also leaving our families, friends and lives with one main dream: built day by day a safe, stable and happy life for us and of course for our children. 

However, building that future we project needs a hard previous work from us, including most of the time learning a second language. In that process we try to find as much support and ways of learning as we can, because how everybody knows, learning becomes harder with years, unfortunately. 

That is how for me and for many other people, finding opportunities of learning English through programs as the one offered by Bemis Public Library in this case is a wonderful alternative, because in addition to the favorable cost, we get the chance to interact with people from many other cultures, to have fun and quality ESL classes, and also to find wonderful tutors to improve our results. 

That is how, with effort and lots of help and guidance we get ready to start the new path on looking for a job. I am so blessed that I got a job that I love, helping families as a provider on a Program called SafeCare. Today I am a bilingual Parent Support Provider, and I am thankful with those who were part of this journey of growth and dream built that I started 4 years ago. 

Story of a Citizenship Student and Mentor

Watch the story of Jan and Juan in the video below. Jan has been a volunteer and mentor at the LIRC since 2007, and Juan was looking for a place that could help him become a citizen.


Client Testimonials 

Left quotesJust wanted to give you an update that I had my test yesterday and was offered ceremony and all so I passed the exam and became a sworn citizen right there and then. I'm very happy and wanted to thank you ladies for all your help and support. I will definitely recommend the LIRC to friends and family and wanted to let you know that I truly appreciated the process and all the learning that came along with it. Thanks for the opportunity and I stand today a humble, proud and knowledgeable American that believes in his country now more that ever. God bless USA. —Noel
Left quotesI think my tutor is perfect. —Woohee