Thanks to stimulus funds that went to Action for Boston Community Development, which runs East Boston APAC, Lima got her wish.
"Before stimulus, [Boston ABCD] asked all of us, if we could do anything what would we want to do? I said an ESOL class," says Lima, a native of East Boston
East Boston APAC's ESOL class now has 12 students with 75 people on its waiting list. Its teacher Matthew Herrara, taught ESOL in Korea, China and at the Merrimack College. Lima says the theme of this ESOL class is English for employment. So far, five of the students who started the class unemployed, got jobs thanks to their improved English skills.
"Learning English opens doors for us," says Pedro Mozquesda, a student in the class who is from Mexico. "It helps us be independent."
"Thank god to the government that we have this program," says Hilda Salazar, another student in the class, who is from San Salvador. "We need it. The first language for us in the United States is English. That's why we need it to be good."
Lima agrees. "It's a great thing," says Lima. "It is amazing that we had the opportunity to do it. We don't often get the chance to do new things."