martes, 1 de noviembre de 2016

Adult charter school helps immigrant thrive in U.S.

By   /   November 1, 2016  /   News  /   No Comments


Dominican-American Geovanny Vicente Romero left a comfortable government career in Santo Domingo to move closer to family and seek new opportunities in the U.S. capital. He had the policy experience that could help him navigate D.C.’s job market, but he arrived in the U.S. speaking minimal English.
“Everything was going very well for me in the Dominican Republic,” he told Watchdog.org. “I just decided to come over to the U.S. to start from the ground up.”
Romero emigrated to the United States in June 2015 and began learning English on his own. He enrolled at Carlos Rosario and tested into a high-level English as a second language (ESL) class. By the time he finished the program, the language gap was history.
At Carlos Rosario’s two campuses, the majority of students are Hispanic or Latino and are English-language learners and have origins in 85 countries. Both schools have a Tier 1 (high-performing) rating from the charter authorizer. Part of that score results from students’ performance in the ESL programs.
Photo provided by Geovanny Vincente Romero
Photo provided by Geovanny Vicente Romero
LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM: Geovanny Vicente Romero emigrated to the U.S. equipped with policy experience that could give him an advantage in D.C., but he faced a language barrier.
But it wasn’t simply a second language that Romero learned at Carlos Rosario.

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The adult charter school offers a GED program, ESL programs, and various workforce development classes. Romero said he benefited from classes on job interviews and workforce development. His peers also elected him as a student government representative. “You get these kinds of skill sets you need to get ahead in life,” he said.
Romero arrived in the U.S. with a vast policy portfolio. He worked as a policy analyst for the Dominican government and was interim director of the Dominican Civil Service. He also taught criminology and penitentiary law at a Dominican university.
Since August, he has worked at the Pan American Health Organization and was a short-term Spanish instructor for the Department of Defense. He has published commentary for various organizations and newspapers
Now he’s paying it forward.
After graduating in the spring, he began volunteering as a Spanish teacher at Carlos Rosario. Soon enough he obtained a position as a teaching assistant. “When I started learning English, that was a lifelong change,” he said. “Now I just feel like I want to give back to my community and I just want to help others like they helped me.”
In D.C., charter schools serve more than three-quarters of the city’s adult students.
Emily Leayman is D.C. Education Reporter at Watchdog. A Kutztown University of Pennsylvania graduate, she has been covering education for nearly four years. Before joining Watchdog, Emily interned at the Washington Examiner and Americans for Tax Reform. She has also covered college free speech issues for the College Fix and school board meetings at the Kutztown Patriot in Pennsylvania. Her stories have been picked up by Drudge Report and The Washington Post among other websites and newspapers. During her college career, Emily received a scholarship for her coverage of faculty union contract negotiations. In addition to reporting on school choice in D.C., she enjoys watching hockey and is working toward visiting all 50 states. Emily can be reached at eleayman@watchdog.org.

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