Michel: Confident and Prepared
Michel has been handed quite a bit of luck since moving to New York. He found work, an amateur soccer league, and best of all, he lives with supportive and loving family members who are determined to help him achieve his goals. Michel says that nothing compares to the feeling of safety and security he experiences in New York; he never felt that way in Mexico City.
If only New York had Mexico’s weather!
We then asked Michel to take us through a typical day. At 5:30 in the morning, he wakes up. He leaves for work, and begins promptly at 7:00a.m. -- Michel is a cook at Narai, a fancy Greek restaurant in midtown Manhattan. After work, Michel then heads to Literacy Partners, where he is a full-time student. He takes the evening HSE classes which begin by 4:30 and conclude at 9:00p.m. Then, he does the exact same thing the next day. Balancing a full-time job and a full-time course load is nothing short of punishing, but Michel knows it’s well worth it.
He shared with us that the Literacy Partners teachers provide all the tools, attention, and patience for him and his classmates. “The way they give the classes here makes me interested to learn more about all the subjects. I don’t come here because it’s an obligation. I come because I like the classes. All the subjects are my favorite.”
As if Michel’s days weren’t already packed, with any free time he can find, he writes. This passion actually started with Literacy Partners. On the first day of class, his teacher asked him to write about home. He was stumped. Why home? “What can I read or write about my home?” Then, a story from his childhood came to him, he put pen to paper, and he never stopped. That very piece was selected by Symphony Space, and suddenly, professional actors were acting out his work. So, he kept writing. And Symphony Space asked him back for another reading. This time, the pressure was on! He had fans; people were buying tickets to a show written by him. He could barely contain both his stress and excitement. His ears rung; his heart stopped. And then…they laughed. The audience laughed at a funny story that Michel had written… in English. Could there ever be anything better than this feeling?
For Michel, Literacy Partners gave him the confidence that he had yet to find with any other school. He says of the Literacy Partner teachers, “[They] support everyone. The teachers care. And I feel the support, and that the teachers want me to succeed.” Yes, Michel. Yes, we do!