IN THIS ISSUE:
6201 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, Va 22044
T: (703) 534-9805
F: (703) 534-9809
If you would like to have this newsletter sent to a different email address or if you would like to unsubscribe from the mailing list, please email email@example.com.
Hello friends and supporters of Hogar! Have you missed the quote of the month? Here is one that was shared at a recent Hogar staff meeting:
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
It struck a chord because sometimes our work is daunting. The road is long and winding. I hope that you’ll read this month’s vignette and remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Felix Romero reminds us that hard work, love, and support from family members and teachers make that which was once insurmountable a reality. The Legal Services team continues to work in tandem with Education Services to help immigrants become citizens.
The Western Regional Office is proud to introduce a new volunteer that finds time to serve the needy of Loudoun County while pursuing a demanding Nursing degree program. See what Rosalina thinks about volunteering for Hogar!
As your classes come to an end this month or next, please remember to take pictures! We want YOU in the next issue of e-news. Have a student with a good success story to share? Let us know – we’ll interview them for a vignette. (Think of it as great English practice with a real interview!)
Thank you for your continued support!
Group Manager, Education Services
Check Out Hogar's Summer Class Schedule
Hogar is pleased to offer summer English classes at three different locations in Northern Virginia. During the summer there are fewer options for people interested in taking ESL classes. Please take a look at our registration schedule below and if you know anyone who is interested in summer courses, please have them call Hogar's Education Services Department at 703-534-9805 x 251.
Annandale High School
4700 Medford Dr., Annandale, VA 22003
May 11, 7 - 9 pm
Hogar's Falls Church office
6201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 310, Falls Church, VA 22044
June 22, 23, and 24, 10 am - 12 pm (morning classes) and 6 - 8 pm (evening classes)
All Saints Church
9300 Stonewall Rd, Manassas, VA 20110
June 21, 11 am - 1:30 pm
Legal Team Leads Another Successful Naturalization Workshop
Hogar Immigrant Services' Legal Department held a Naturalization workshop on March 28. Eight Lawful Permanent Residents were able to apply for citizenship thanks to the help of the team of volunteers. The next workshop will be on June 13 at the Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling. If you are interested in volunteering for at our Naturalization workshops, please contact Cindy Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal Volunteers Needed
Our legal team continues to seek committed volunteers to help with translations, data entry, filing, and various sundry other projects about the office. If you are interested in volunteering, and are able to commit to a stable, six month tour of duty, please contact Michelle Sardone at email@example.com.
Protect Immigrants From Notarios
Notario fraud: A “notario” is the common name given to individuals who falsely represent themselves, particularly to the Spanish-speaking immigrant community, as being qualified to practice law. Notarios, not to be confused with notario publicos (highly trained officials with legal skills in Latin America) or notaries (individual appointed by the state to witness the signing of documents), frequently defraud unsuspecting immigrants of money and create additional legal problems with their immigration status. At least one local law firm, Bryan Cave LLP, is giving pro bono help to persons in filing civil suits against notarios for the unauthorized practice of law. Please contact Dan MacGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of someone who has been adversely affected by a notario.
Feast Of St. Joseph Donations Feeds Loudoun County Families
Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Sterling held a Feast of St. Joseph’s at their parish. They decided that once the day had past and the celebration was complete, they would then donate all of the perishable food to Catholic Charities, Western Regional Office (WRO). Normally, the WRO does not accept perishable item due to limited space and proper refrigeration. However, because the parish expressed their desire to donate these items well in advance, WRO staff and volunteers were able to compile a list of very deserving families. Each family was contacted the night before the delivery to remind them that their fresh fruit and vegetables on the way. Within two hours of the delivery all the fruit and veggies were distributed. Thank you Our Lady of Hope!
Making Classroom Observations Work For You
No matter if you are new to teaching or a seasoned veteran, there is always something to learn from observing other teachers and from having other teachers or site coordinators observe you. Observation should be a regular part of your teaching experience—you should observe someone else and/or be observed at least once per semester. You can benefit greatly by learning from others’ techniques, and when others observe you, you see more clearly how your style and techniques are perceived. Use the following tips to help get the most out of your observation experience.
When observing someone else:
The WRO Welcomes Rosalina Leoncio
Rosalina Leoncio is the newest volunteer at the Western Regional Office of Catholic Charities. Like all the volunteers at the WRO, Rosalina brings a very different dynamic to the office. Her main goal is to serve. Rosalina can often be found filling bags with rice, folding infant clothing and sitting with a client discussing their crisis situation. Rosalina has a real heart for the people of Loudoun county, the county she calls home.
Rosalina is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. After earning a degree in Biology from Hollins University, she relocated to Sterling, VA where she worked as a Department Manager for Nordstrom. Recently she decided to return to school to pursue a second degree in Nursing. This new path gave Rosalina some free hours during the week and she decided to volunteer for Catholic Charities.
Outside of school and volunteering Rosalina enjoys playing the piano, traveling and jazzercising. When asked about her new volunteer position, Rosalina said, “I am delighted to be part of the philanthropy of Catholic Charities.”
We are so thankful to have such a wonderful addition to the WRO team. Rosalina brings her bright smile and her even bigger heart to the office daily.
Hogar Celebrates Its Two Newest Citizens
Felix Romero is the newest citizen to come out of Hogar Immigrant Services citizenship preparation classes (the 66th student since this time last year)! He applied with us back in February and returned to our office panicked in March because his test date had arrived so quickly. Though he lives in Woodbridge, he faithfully attended our Falls Church class almost every evening to prepare himself.
The day of the exam, Felix arrived at the office two hours early and spent the time doing some last minute studying in his car with his children. When his turn finally arrived, Felix knew all his studying had paid off. The adjudicator began by asking him many questions from the N-400 (the application he filled out to apply), but Felix had studied the form extensively in class and understood everything asked of him. He was then asked six questions about U.S. history and government and answered them all correctly. Finally, he was asked to read one sentence, and write one sentence. Writing was Felix’s weakest skill, but the sentence dictated to him was, “We pay taxes.” Felix said, “I was so happy when I hear that because I know I can write that.” The adjudicator then told him congratulations, he had passed the test. Felix is looking forward to attending his swearing in ceremony in the coming months.
Felix first applied for citizenship 13 years ago, but did not know much about the required exam and spoke very little English. He had two opportunities, but sadly failed both tests. Last year, when Felix heard that the citizenship test had changed, he decided it was time to try again. Felix only attended school through the 6th grade in El Salvador, but has worked hard in the U.S. both to learn English and to start his own business. It has not been an easy road though, and when presented with a certificate upon completion of a semester of citizenship classes Felix remarked that it was the first certificate he’s ever received in his life. When his 6 year old son noticed the certificate and Felix explained that he had received it for attending school, his son hugged and congratulated him. It was a touching moment and I can only imagine how special the moment will be when Felix receives his citizenship certificate.
Congratulations also to Xiomara Tobar, another student who became a new citizen last week. Xiomara studied with us for more than two semesters and she had been waiting since July 2007 for her test. While her interview was slightly more extensive and longer than Felix’s, she also passed and was able to attend her ceremony the same day. Right before the ceremony she was asked a couple final questions including, “When was the last time you traveled to Honduras?” Xiomara is grateful to her teachers who prepared her for this question. She was used to answering, “I traveled to my country last year,” but had learned to say, “I traveled to Honduras last year,” because she knows that now America is really her country. She said there were about 100 people at the ceremony, all of whom said the Oath of Allegiance together. Upon receiving her certificate Xiomara said, “I feel very happy.”
Congratulations Xiomara and Felix and thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time to assist these students!
A Classroom Community Says Bon Voyage To One Of Its Students
Every semester Hogar has a handful of ESL students who are only in the United States to visit, but want to take advantage of their time here to study English. One such student was Nelly Galimova.
Nelly was originally born in the USSR in what is now Kazakhstan, but now lives in Geneva, Switzerland. This semester she came to visit a friend and tour the Washington, DC area. In addition to sightseeing, she decided to enroll in Northern Virginia Community College ESL classes on Monday and Wednesdays and Hogar’s Tuesday and Thursday evening classes at Christ the Redeemer Church (CTR).
In her brief stay in the United States, she made quite an impression on her teachers at CTR. “As I got to know her, I really got the feeling that Nelly was a bit of a Renaissance woman,” stated teacher Cindy Lopreto. “She really knew how to experience life. She has had jobs in different fields, loves to travel and to learn new things.” Nelly also speaks three languages, aside from the English she acquired in the US- Russian, German, and French.
Nelly made a similar connection to her classmates. Fellow student Jose commented during class one day, “Nelly is a good friend, you know?” In fact, during her last week in the USA, the Beginner II class threw her a going away party.
On her last day Nelly told teacher Sherri Bystrowski (in French) that in comparison to NVCC, she thought the CTR classes were more useful. The NVCC professor made them read out of the book, but did not really teach them. She appreciated all the hard work her CTR teachers put into their lessons to make them educational and fun.
While we are sad to see Nelly go, we wish her the best back in Switzerland!
March For Immigrant Rights And Immigration Reform To Be Held May 1
Immigrants throughout the DC metropolitan area will march to the White House on May 1, 2009, to call for an end to immigration raids and Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and to urge the passage just and humane immigration reform.
The National Capital Immigrant Coalition will be gathering at 3:00 pm at Malcolm X Park at the corners of W Street, NW and 16th Street, NW before the beginning of the march at 4:00 pm. Anyone who is interested in joining NCIC is welcome. For more information contact email@example.com or call 1-888-624-2001.