EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is the fourth in a four-part series for the Beverly Citizen’s annual Gifts of Hope campaign.
Lauren and Allen Rex* came to the United States from Albania just about a year ago in search of the American Dream, not just for themselves, but for their teenage children.
With corruption running rampant in Albania’s higher education system, the Rexes determined their son and daughter would have more opportunities in education if they moved to a different country, which is what brought them to the United States.
“We thought it was the best decision for our children,” Allen Rex said.
With family already living in the Beverly area, Allen and Lauren Rex chose to relocate their family to the Garden City.
When they arrived here, the Rexes spoke very little English.
“When we got here, we looked for classes to learn English,” Lauren Rex said. “We found Bootstraps was the closest, so we came here.”
Through Beverly Bootstraps’ English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, the couple has been able to gain a better grasp on the language, and now speak it very well.
Give a Gift of Hope
Thanks to the continued generosity of donors, Beverly Bootstraps remains community funded and supported. Donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, churches and local organizations all help provide critical resources to individuals and families so they may achieve self-sufficiency.
This holiday season, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Beverly Bootstraps.
To send donations, write ‘Gifts of Hope’ in the subject line of your check. Send your contribution to: Beverly Bootstraps Community Services, 35 Park St., Beverly, MA 01915.
You can also donate online at www.beverlybootstraps.org. Volunteers are also always needed for the various programs Bootstraps provides. For more information about Beverly Bootstraps, visit www.beverlybootstraps.org or call 978-927-1561.
“We feel like we belong here already,” Lauren Rex said. “And our children love being here.”
The ESOL program at Bootstraps focuses on basic communication skills. The aim is for students to become confident, accurate, fluent speakers and writers of English. Class time is used to learn proper grammar, practice skills and engage in conversation with classmates and native speakers.
“We see the commitment from the teachers,” said Lauren Rex. “They’re friendly, warm and such good communicators. We’ve learned so much.”
The couple have been attending classes twice a week at Beverly Bootstraps for most of 2018.
“And I study every day at home,” Allen Rex said. “Nothing is too difficult if you want to learn.”
The Rexes have also made some wonderful friends through the program.
“There are students from all over the world,” Allen Rex said. “I enjoy being able to share traditions and education with everyone.”
Allen Rex has worked as a mechanical engineer for over 20 years. Lauren Rex is a math teacher with hopes of continuing her education in the United States.
They both agree that learning to speak better English will help them excel in their respective careers.
“I am very thankful I came to Bootstraps,” said Lauren Rex.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy