‘Habla’ program empowers adult workers with English-language skills

A year ago, Stanford janitor Hugo Mendoza wasn’t able to speak a single word in English. However, his life has been transformed since he joined “Habla.”

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A year ago, Hugo Mendoza wasn’t able to speak a single word in English. He would smile with embarrassment every time someone would greet him in English, for he did not know how to respond to a greeting. More than once, Hugo had to leave a store without buying what he needed, because there weren’t any Spanish speakers around that could help him. However, his life has been transformed since he joined “Habla.”

Hugo Mendoza works as a janitor at Stanford University. (Valeria Collazo / Peninsula Press)
Hugo Mendoza works as a janitor at Stanford University. (Valeria Collazo / Peninsula Press)

“Habla” is a Stanford student-run organization whose mission is to empower adult workers on campus through English-language literacy and conversational skills. In addition to tutoring, “Habla” seeks to connect the student and the janitorial communities at Stanford. The one-on-one tutoring sessions are held twice a week. Hugo attends “Habla la Noche,” a session specifically designed for those working the night shift.

In the video above, Hugo shares his story and explains how “Habla” has transformed his life.

 

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