Transcript of Jaime's Speech:
My name is Jaime, and I was born in Madrid, Spain. I like climbing, running, travelling, and I especially love cooking. My dad is a chef and he taught me how to cook when I was 17. I started cooking as my dad’s helper in his bar, and I want to become a chef one day just like my dad.
I came to the US 2 years ago. This is a great country! There are a lot of opportunities to grow and I can spend more time with my family here. But since Spanish was my only language, it was very difficult in the beginning. I went through a lot of trouble to get my social security number and my driver’s license, and I couldn’t even talk to my family here in the US, as they speak only English. Everything was very complicated.
Two years ago, I started working at the prep and salad section with Think Food Group, and last fall, the company provided us the chance to learn English for free with LCNV. I was excited, but at first it was very hard and I was nervous. Our teacher Claire was very cheerful, and was always there when we have doubts or questions. She taught us with games and activities, and the whole learning experience was fun. After watching many English movies, practicing a lot with my roommate and making so many mistakes, I was finally able to overcome my fears and make improvements. The classes not only taught me how to speak English, but also how to say things properly and politely. Before, when I spoke to customers, I would just say “give me that plate!” But now I say, “would you please give the plate to me?” As I notice that my English is better, I feel very happy and more confident when talking with others.
Now I feel like I am realizing my dream. As I can communicate with more people, I can help customers at my work, travel around the US with less difficulties, and have more conversations with my family.
I’m thankful for this opportunity provided by Think Food Group and LCNV, and I feel valued as the company invested in us by creating opportunities for us to improve. When I first came here, I felt like a stranger. But now, I am happy and I feel like I belong to the community. I feel like this is my place where I want to be. I was timid and shy, but bit by bit I overcame my shame and fear and became a more open and confident person. I have learned a lot from the class.
When travelling, I used to follow others to find my way, but now I can find my way on my own. One day I will travel far- I really want to go to Asia as I have never been there. I will also become a chef and have my own restaurant, where everyone can enjoy delicious food and feel happy. Until the day my dreams come true, I will keep improving my English, embracing new opportunities, and work hard to overcome every difficulty in my life.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn, and thank you for listening to my speech.