WBZ Cares: First Literacy Recipients

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling First Literacy in Boston, ensuring adults with low-literacy or limited English proficiency have high-quality educational opportunities that enable them to thrive.

Cassia came to this country from Brazil and is glad she received help from First Literacy.

“When I first came here, I spoke no English and things were very, very difficult. Even going to the dentist, going to a doctor,” Cassia outlined.

She was awarded a scholarship by First Literacy which enabled her attend English classes.

“Having a scholarship awarded to me by First Literacy was really, really helpful. I was able to even take four classes in one semester; three classes in the fall semester and without that scholarship I would not do it,” Cassia said.

And now she is a medical interpreter for others who don't speak English.

“When I help people that are coming to the hospital to see the doctor I feel very, very glad to be able to do that. I feel that I have accomplished a lot just learning the language,” Cassia stated.

Yamileth came here from Venezuela and also benefited from a First Literacy scholarship.

“They have been supporting me all the way and now I just finished my bachelor’s degree at UMass Boston and I’m very thankful and grateful for the opportunity that it gave me,” Yamileth said.

First Literacy Executive Director Skye Kramer says many they've helped were forced from their home countries.

“Your taxi driver could be an engineer who’s immigrated here for a better life. We have several scholarship recipients who were forced to leave their home countries because of political unrest. They were journalists in their home countries and feared for their lives. They had to leave and they come here and they don’t speak the English language, so they know that they have to learn how to speak English in order to regain the careers that they had to leave in order to live, ” Kramer concluded.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports

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