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  • Festa

Festa Helps Families Move Out of Poverty

Updated: Apr 18


“Festa not just an English class where people come then go. Festa is so much more! I often think about when I met Festa in 2017 and the close friends I I made there. Our family found another English class, but was nothing like [Festa]. It was only for adults. I signed up for English classes for my mom and me, but since we could not take the children with us, the two of us split the classes every other time and took turns watching the children. I was lucky to have my mom; many other people couldn't come at all because they had children and no one to watch them. Parents can bring their children here, and the Festa staff knows each child by the name. Sometimes I can't even remember my three children's names!  As a mom, I am the one to take care of my children. Even leaving them with my husband I sometimes get worried about them, like, ‘Did he remember to do this? Did he do that? Do the children have everything they need?’ When I got to Festa, I just dropped my children off and went on to my class.  No worries. The teachers let me bring my newborn baby to the class if I needed to, but I felt like, ‘I can come to class myself and focus on studying!’  I needed English lessons, and I felt that everyone in the class knew and supported me. I loved it. They even served coffee for the parents and gave us time to talk to each other as adults."


"A lot of people teach English and they come, do their job and leave. Festa is not like this. Festa cares about so much more than just learning English. You take care of me and my family. It feels like a family; we share problems with each other. I can talk about my children and what’s going on with them. My children would text their cousins to say they got to hang out with everyone at the ESL program, and their cousins were always jealous. Festa staff is like famous people to my children! I remember when I was pregnant and had terrible morning sickness, you gave strength to me.  You let me rest in a comfortable chair at the church while my children were playing at summer camp and gave me care like you would your mom or sister, the way only people who are close to you would do. A volunteer has helped my son with planning for his future; my son asked lots of questions about what to study in school, and he listened and has been working hard. That relationship affected him a lot.  


"Our family’s business slowed during Covid and I remember people from Festa kept calling us weekly to ask how we were doing, how our business was doing. No one else did that. Festa helped us with our rent one month.  When someone came to our home to give us the check, my husband and I were like, ‘oh my…,’ we were stunned and grateful, and we decided then that we’d give back when we could. 


"Our family is doing so well now. Our business is well. It's so busy I don't attend English classes anymore! I’m working toward my dream of being a writer.  I keep a notebook and every night before bed I write parts of my novel. Festa introduced me to a man who helps me and checks my writing in English so it translates fully from my native language. When I am finished writing, he will help me learn how to publish my story."

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