Having arrived in the United States from Austria and speaking only some English, Renate Rojas understands the challenges faced by the non-English speaking adults with whom the Volusia Literacy Council works.
Rojas has worked with the Volusia Literacy Council for five years and has averaged 128 hours per month. She has accumulated a total of 6,168 volunteer tutoring hours. Renate’s first assigned student was a Puerto Rican woman whose English language skills were at a fourth grade level. This woman wanted to improve her English to be able to communicate with co-workers and be more active in the community. Rojas started working one on one with the woman twice a week. In 14 months the woman tested out at an 11.5 grade level in her language skills. This remarkable achievement was thanks to the commitment of both the student and the dedication of Rojas.
She has assisted with the “English as a Second Language” classes in Pierson, Florida, traveling from South Daytona two nights a week to help as many as 21 students in a month’s time. In 2004 she became a presenter at tutor training sessions for the Volusia Literacy Council.
Rojas willingness and desire has helped her students not only master the English language, but also to improve their life and work skills. Thirty-seven residents of Volusia County with whom she has worked have become more involved in their children’s school, developed better parent skills, raised their self-esteem, obtained employment and become more self sufficient.
Rojas has seen first hand a need and has been very diligent in her effort to address the problems of those learning English. When asked to expand her tutoring services, she readily accepted the challenge and continues to do so today.