The following is the speech that Elizabeth gave at our Wine and Words Event October 23, 2015.
My name is Elizabeth Perez. I’m from Mexico. I’m married and I have 3 kids. My oldest son is a Dental Assistant, my daughter is in her 3rd semester at Cal State Fullerton, and my baby son is a freshman at Huntington Beach High School.
I want to tell you a little bit about my experience at Oak View library. When Mrs. Amy, who is the coordinator of the Family Literacy program chose me, I felt lucky, but I was very afraid of this challenge. I am very nervous and it is hard standing here in front of everyone.
First, I want to thank my family, especially my husband for his love and support. I also want to Thank all the people who are supporting libraries, thanks to Mrs. Amy and my tutor Jeanne for helping me to change my life because years ago I didn’t know that libraries offered programs like homework club, programs for teens, tutor to teach English and many things.
I will never forget when my kids were in elementary school I missed a lot of opportunities to speak with the teachers because I didn’t understand English I didn’t know how the high education runs because I studied only ten years in my town. now I know the libraries had all the tools that the people need to improve their education.
I remember when my first tutor Lani asked me a question in English, I will never forget how afraid I was, I was thinking “Please don’t ask me” but I saw her face! She enjoyed when she looked at my face blushing.
Since I have been taking English classes and we are in the Stepping-Up program our lives have changed. I feel sad that I didn’t have this information when my oldest son was in H.S. because I didn’t know how to advise him to take his regular classes or how to enroll him directly into the university. I am proud of him for accomplishing what he did on his own.
Now I have the tools to help my other two kids and I can help them to decide what classes they need to take and how they can enroll into the university. It is very sad when people like me move to different country to follow our dreams and speak a different language because you don’t know how to help your kids. This is the reason why the immigrants are looking for programs like family literacy. I once again I want to thank all the volunteers and everyone involved in this beautiful program. I really like family literacy program. Thank you.