Claudia left her home country of El Salvador nineteen years ago in search of education and employment opportunities. She lived with her sister in an area where it seemed that everyone spoke English but her. She was impressed by how friendly her new neighbors were. It seemed as though everyone smiled or waved at her. Claudia’s sister helped make the transition fun by taking her shopping, sightseeing and to her first buffet. After three months, Claudia got a job at McDonald’s where she worked for the next nine years before taking a position at CVS. At work, she lacked confidence when interacting with English speaking coworkers and customers. In her personal life, she continued to rely on her sister whenever she needed to get something done. Then this fall, Claudia decided to enroll in her first English class so that she could become more independent and financially stable. She was ready to work towards her goal of earning a GED and wanted to prove to her young daughter that she was capable of accomplishing anything. So far, Claudia has really enjoyed her class, saying “I couldn’t stop laughing when we played the telephone game.” Another favorite has been the paper ball game in which everyone shares their ideas by writing them on small sheets of paper that are then crumpled into a big ball and thrown around the classroom to determine who reads whose thought out loud. But the class is not just fun. Claudia has also learned many practical skills such as how to fill out a job application and successfully complete an interview. Her confidence has grown and she recently attended her daughters parent-teacher conference without relying solely on the support of an interpreter as she had in the past.  As her English improves, Claudia’s other long-term goals such as taking a computer course and passing the GED test appear closer to becoming a reality. From there, she hopes to continue her education by enrolling in Montgomery College.