Empowering Emerging Leaders

Elva Vazquez, ESL program graduate, with level one English student Alba.

Elva Vazquez, ESL program graduate, with level one English student Alba.

Written by Paul Kienzle, Director of Latino ESL

Our Latino ESL program consists of five levels.  Dedicated students can advance through all five levels in less than two years.  It is not uncommon for graduating students to ask me what comes after level five.  One of our core values at Mission Adelante for fruit bearing ministry is equipping and empowering emerging leaders from our community so as to help individuals to reach their potential as disciples and leaders.  One way we do this is by encouraging our ESL graduates to transition from being students to serving as volunteers in English classes.

Elva Vazquez graduated from the ESL program in April of this year. While taking the classes, she demonstrated her determination to learn English through near perfect attendance and test scores.  Her ready smile and gentle spirit made it a joy to have her as one of our students. Cheryl McMorris, one of her volunteers, described her in this way: "She had a motivation to study the vocabulary and practice the grammar concept each week. This prepared her to move up to each new level with confidence knowing that she could learn this crazy language!” To my delight, she accepted the request for her to help out in level one as a volunteer for the summer trimester.  She jumped right in and dedicated herself to helping several women who were coming to observe the class.  She chimed in during our volunteer huddles, and she communicated beautifully to our level one students the blessing of advancing to the upper levels.  Elva was nervous at first about the idea of volunteering but her passion to give back and help others allowed her to overcome her fears.

Elva is one of the first to come out of the ESL program and return in a volunteer role.  Her courage has set the standard and will be the inspiration for others who will come after her. I am excited to see how her impact will help shape the future of our Latino ESL program.