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2023 - ECC’s ESL student Karla Rojas uses her experience to set a positive example for others

Tags: Academics | Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 10/04/2023
ECC English as a Second Language student Karla Rojas

ECC English as a Second Language student Karla Rojas

Karla Rojas immigrated to the United States with complete confidence that she could find the success she was after. “When you come here, people will give you different points of view based on their personal immigration experience, and sometimes we listen to the wrong people,” said Rojas. “To make a difference, we must find the right people, and I think Elgin Community College is a good way to do it.”

In Mexico, Rojas worked in education as a teacher and a coordinator, and she wanted to continue her passion in the U.S. As a mother of two with limited English skills, she set her sights on a different life for her family than she’d been told. “So many people told me I would just work in a factory because that is what Mexican people do when they come here,” said Rojas. “I told them, ‘Of course I will not. I studied in my country and became a teacher there. I will do it here, too.’”

Her firm belief in herself and her abilities led her to enroll in ECC’s English as a Second Language program to help improve her English skills. It wasn’t long before she was excelling in her courses and preparing for her next step to find a job. 

Rojas found a great fit with the local non-profit Literacy Connection. Now, she coordinates instructors and volunteer tutors who help adults learn English. In Mexico, she taught children, and now, she’s excited to pay it forward to adult learners. “The door is open to a new world of teaching for me,” said Rojas. 

“I love my job because I can help more people like me to get better opportunities in this country,” said Rojas. “ECC’s ESL courses helped me get this job and led me to the successful career I knew I would find.”