Dong came from Vietnam one year ago at age 25. Dong was referred to OACES (Office of Adult and Career Education Services) by his aunt and uncle who said that OACES was a great school to improve English.
What brought Dong to OACES was his goal to improve his English and get his HSE (High School Equivalency) in order to attend MCC (Monroe Community College). He wants to study Graphic Design at MCC.
Before attending OACES, Dong was nervous but excited as the same time. He was unsure of what to expect considering he came in the middle of COVID-19. Being able to come to the U.S. is something Dong has been waiting for his entire life. He was told he would come here when he was younger to study English and attend high school. However, that never happened; but now is his time to achieve these goals.
The teachers at OACES are very helpful and the classmates are very friendly, something you don’t often see at other schools. When asked what Dong finds most valuable about attending OACES, he said “the opportunity to improve his life through learning more English and getting a well-paying job so he can take care of his parents who are here in the U.S. with him.”
For Dong, digital literacy means something a little different and geared towards his career path. To Dong, digital literacy means being able to understand photoshop and other drawing applications on his computer and phone. Dong understands technology very well considering the career field he wants to pursue. During this pandemic, Dong had to increase his ability to understand graphic design applications in order to practice on his own at home while school is closed. Dong also advises others to learn how to use your computer or phone effectively because there are many platforms to watch and learn from. Not only can you practice English online, but if you are unsure of how to do something, search it on YouTube and there is almost always a video tutorial explaining it. Dong encourages others to utilize this resource that is available to us.
Dong had a lifelong dream of coming to America since he was a child and create a new life. Dong has learned a lot from his experience coming to the U.S. and taking classes at OACES. When people who are not proficient in English come to the U.S., they have to work much harder. Nothing is easy and you face more barriers than the average American. Despite these challenges, Dong has a strong willingness to learn no matter what is thrown at him. He also has a great support system here in America. Dong knows his parents and family will always help and be by his side.
Right now, Dong works at his aunt’s nail salon but plans to attend MCC Fall 2021. When asked to sum up his feelings about the future, Dong said “it’s hard to say. I want to improve myself and prepare for what’s coming”.
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