Student Stories

Belkis Morales-Bermeo
After a car accident left her family reliant upon public assistance, Belkis decided that she needed to improve her English to prepare for when she was recovered. She entered CIET's Civics program, made amazing progress and took full advantage of the resources at CIET, and eventually became involved with organizations such as Jobs with Justice. After CIET she entered York College and is currently completing her BA coursework to become a teacher while raising four children.

Ludmila Kundinova
Ludmila, a trained medical professional, came to the US as a refugee from Uzbekistan, and was embarrassed by her inability to communicate in English. After studying at CIET, she began to feel more confident asking for help in English, reading the newspaper and using a computer. Ludmila is planning on getting a US nursing degree in order to rejoin the healthcare workforce.

Gazment Plaka
After studying English at CIET for the last year, Gazment Plaka, orginally from Albania, has been accepted into the GED preparation program at LaGuardia's Adult Learning Center. Additionally, his essay, "I Love This Country," will appear in the forthcoming issue of The Literacy Review (volume 6), New York City's magazine for adult education students published by New York University's Gallatin School for Independent Study. His essay was one of 64 chosen from 325 submissions from adult education programs across the city.

Helena Depena
Helena Depena had been in the United States for 12 years when the date of her citizenship exam was finally set. As a student in CIET's Civics program, she was given the extra help that she needed to prepare. "I felt confident about the exam," she said. "Several staff members helped me to find the questions online, and reviewed my answers." With this focused help and the English communication skills she gained in her classes, Helena passed her exam and received her citizenship. For the future, she has the goal of helping her daughter, who is still in Colombia, to be just as successful.

Redesign by: Anita Matute