Sophia has had to face many challenges in her life. She came to the United States 12 years ago, in desperate need of finding work to support her family. She was so desperate that she had to leave twin daughters behind with her mother.  She came to the U.S. knowing almost no English. Even so, she was able to find work as an office cleaner and was able to send money home to support her daughters.

Two years later she gave birth to her son who has Down’s Syndrome.  She has only been able to work part time since his birth. At five years old her son was diagnosed with leukemia. Can you imagine having a son with a critical illness and not knowing the language? Sophia joined our English class, not only to learn to speak English, but also, to be able to understand and navigate the difficult world of medicine.

Her son relapsed three times after treatments for his leukemia before he was able to have a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, since the transplant he has relapsed again. Not only is his illness an emotional and financial strain on Sophia, it has also prevented her from returning to be with her daughters.

Through our English classes Sophia has been able to find a safe place to learn English and the courage to overcome her challenges.