Learning English Led to a New Life for Redwood City’s Patricia Segura

Fri, 20 December, 2013 at 9:30 am
After moving from Mexico five years ago, Patricia Segura knew she would have to master English to stay in the United States, find a job, and fulfill her goal of studying to become a nurse. But without command of the language, going to college seemed impossible.

“When I decided to stay in this country, I wanted to keep studying as I was doing in my country,” she said. “Learning English became a new short-term goal in my life. I wanted to study English in college but I had to start from the beginning.”

She began taking community-based English courses offered by Cañada College at Sequoia High School. Later she moved to John Gill Elementary School to take a course because her nephew was in the class. When she finished her course at John Gill, Segura’s professor helped her sign up for the first level of English as a Second Language at Cañada College.

“When I started at Cañada, my goal was to learn English to find a job,” she said. “Now I'm pursuing my goal of becoming a nurse. The more I learn the language the more secure I feel in achieving my future plans.”

As she mastered English, Segura became more confident. “I learned how to adapt to my new culture and become part of my new community.” She took a child development course at Cañada and that led to a job. “That really changed my life.”

Segura said her first bit of advice to anyone moving to the United States from another country is to learn English. “It’s not easy, especially if you work and study, but it’s not impossible. You can change the way you see the world and many new doors will open. The satisfaction of being part of the student community is very important.”

The Cañada College CBET/Off-Campus ESL Program is collaboration between the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD), the Redwood City School District (RCSD), and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The CBET/Off-Campus ESL Program provides language and computer skills classes for the workforce. These ESL and computer classes, offered at seven different sites in the South San Mateo County community, serve as a bridge to on-campus academic and career programs. Upon completing the program, students receive the English for the Workforce Award.

For more information, please contact: Jenny Castello, ESL and CBET, Department Coordinator – castello@smccd.edu; Diana Espinoza-Osuna, ESL and CBET, Retention Specialist – espinozaosunad@smccd.edu; or the ESL and CBET/Off-Campus ESL Program- (650) 306-3388.
Posted in: ESL