Monica Arauz is a mother on a mission.
Her goal is to ensure that her 17-year-old son has a future filled with opportunities. That’s why she came to the United States about two-and-a-half years ago, leaving behind her former life in Ecuador.
Arauz and her son, Andres, moved in with her older brother in Hillside. It wasn’t long before she began searching on the Internet for English language classes.
“When I came I didn’t understand anything,” she said.
She found information online about New Community’s Adult Learning Center and signed up for the September class. After completing an initial assessment test, Arauz was placed in English for Speakers of Other Languages Level 2.
Back in Ecuador, Arauz attended Central University and took English to fulfill her foreign language requirement.
“Monica is a serious, methodical and disciplined student whose talent and compassionate outlook indicate meaningful achievement and success in the future,” Anthony Forte, ESOL instructor at the Adult Learning Center, said.
After spending a few years studying architecture at the university, Arauz worked in the capital city of Quito where she worked on restoring monuments and architectural conservation.
For now, she works nights as a cleaner at Newark Liberty International Airport. During the day, she attended ESOL classes, which finished in December. Now, she’s looking for additional English language classes at local community colleges to expand her skills.
She credited Forte and the Adult Learning Center with helping her to strengthen her grammar.
“I think you have good teachers,” she said.