Once upon a time, there was a hard-working young man named Pedro from Peru. Pedro wanted to move to the United States to have a better life and be successful in the United States of America. Pedro’s dream came true when he applied for the Green Card Lottery and won it. Pedro said his goodbyes to his parents and friends in Peru and left for Southern California, USA.
Pedro has been planning for this moment for over five years. He had worked overtime at a factory in Lima, Peru, to save money and be prepared for the move to the United States. He knew life was expensive in California and needed to find an inexpensive apartment, get a job, learn more English, and figure out his long-term career plans. He didn’t want to work in a factory for all his life, as he has done in Lima, Peru.
Pedro heard that Fullerton, in Orange County, California, had jobs and a community college and university, so he went there. When he arrived, Pedro took some time to explore Fullerton. He went to the beach, rode a bicycle, explored downtown Fullerton, and took in the sights and sounds of different Orange County, California areas. He found an inexpensive apartment, worked at a restaurant, and sent some money to his parents every month, but he found it difficult to save money for the future.
Pedro was excited about starting a new life in the United States. He felt lucky that he could win the Green Card Lottery and was sure he would succeed. Still, he knew that working at a restaurant to pay the bills wasn’t enough. He wanted more. He wanted career success and financial independence. He made a list of what he wanted to achieve and what he needed to do to get there.
Becoming more fluent in English was the first thing Pedro needed to become more successful and earn more money. He was working minimum wage at a Mexican restaurant as a dishwasher because he didn’t understand or speak English very well and couldn’t be a waiter, a cook, or a bartender, which paid much better because the restaurant manager knew Pedro couldn’t communicate well with customers. So, Pedro went to Fullerton College to see if he could find a free English as a Second Language class. He was directed by a counselor to Wilshire Center, part of North Orange Community Education, where he was greeted by Violeta, who helped him register for a free English as a Second Language class. She told him about Maestro Sersea, a passionate teacher who could help him learn English. He used to work in the English as a Second Language Center there for years but was now teaching English online via the Virtual English as a Second Language Learning Center on Saturdays from 8 am to 4 pm. Pedro was happy because he didn’t work on Saturday mornings and afternoons. He had time to learn English and continue to go to work.
Pedro started working with Maestro Sersea, who taught him lessons in American English speaking, listening, reading, and writing. At first, it was hard for Pedro to understand the directions, but with time, as he learned more vocabulary, he understood English much better. Pedro always volunteered to answer questions during his online synchronous Zoom class. Pedro collaborated with his colleagues online and did well in dialogues and conversation exercises. Soon, he could communicate well with his colleagues during class discussions. He was proud of himself for improving his English skills. He liked working with his colleagues online because they were fun and interesting people who encouraged him to study English and work hard.
Maestro Sersea told Pedro to continue working on his English so that he could enroll in an Electrician’s Assistant certificate program. The program was free, and some of Maestro Sersea’s students from the past graduated from the program and got good-paying jobs. When he heard this, Pedro started thinking. He had always wanted to be an electrician, and now he could train and perhaps start his own business in the United States as an electrical contractor.
Pedro was determined to learn English and be a success. He read books and watched movies about becoming a professional electrician. He listened to recordings of real electricians talking, to listen to what they did and how they communicated. He watched YouTube videos and learned from them. His parents encouraged him to keep studying English because they wanted him to have a good career and they wanted him to be able to communicate with his new American friends. They thought being fluent in English was an important skill for a Peruvian immigrant.
Once Pedro became more fluent in English reading and writing, he started taking classes at Anaheim Campus to complete the requirements to receive an Electrician’s Assistant certificate. When he graduated from the program, he worked as an apprentice in a small company. Pedro felt proud that he was successful and doing well in life. He liked working on a construction site with his fellow apprentices and learning about electricity. He felt happy when he could earn more money and provide for his family financially. But, in his heart, he knew this was just the beginning. He needed the experience and knowledge to become an Electrician, so he continued training and working hard.
After years of training and honing his professional skills, Pedro took the electrical contractor’s license exam and passed it with flying colors. He was happy and returned to the Mexican Restaurant where he first worked as a dishwasher to celebrate. The manager and staff at the restaurant recognized him and were amazed to hear how good his English was and that he was now an electrical contractor. He celebrated with them that night and felt proud of his accomplishments in the United States.
The next step for Pedro was to start an official business. He went to city hall in Santa Ana and applied for a business license. There was a lot of paperwork and documentation he needed to fill out, but now that his English was strong, it wasn’t a problem for him. Next, Pedro bought a new work van and got it wrapped with his new business logo and telephone number. He bought lots of tools and materials and filled the van to be ready for customers. Finally, Pedro advertised his business on Google, in the newspaper, and flyers mailed throughout Orange County. He also hired a web designer to build a business website for him. All of this cost Pedro all his savings, but it was worth the investment for him to follow his dreams and have his own business.
For the next week, Pedro patiently waited by the phone, waiting for customers to call. He knew that he was ready to start his business. He knew the experience, the training, the tools, and the materials to do anything that would be asked of him. One by one, customers started calling and scheduling appointments. Pedro got calls from homeowners and business owners, and soon his business picked up and was successful. He was so busy within a year that he hired two more electricians to help him with his many customers.
Now that he was a successful business owner, Pedro counted his blessings and was grateful for all the opportunities he was given to be successful in the United States of America. He went back to Wilshire Center with a bouquet and thanked Violeta for helping him start learning English. He met with Maestro Sersea, his English teacher, at a fancy restaurant for lunch, shared his accomplishments with him, and thanked him for helping him become fluent in English. He regularly called and thanked his parents for raising him and sent them lots of monthly money to help them in their retirement.
Pedro reached his American dream through dedication, focus, hard work, and determination. When he studied English, he did his best to learn and become fluent. When he studied to be an electrician, he put his whole being into his training, working hard and spending his free time researching and learning more about the profession. As a business owner, he treated his customers with respect and never overcharged them for his quality electrical work. This satisfied him and his fame for being an honest electrician. Pedro earned his success and was grateful to be in a country that allowed him to reach his dreams.
Activity: Multiple-Choice Questions
Directions: Please take out a sheet of paper or use your notebook to write your answers. Once you write your answers on your paper, please review the answer key below.
- Based on the passage, what motivated Pedro to move to the United States?
A. His desire to be closer to his parents and friends in Peru.
B. His dream of having a better life and being successful.
C. His interest in exploring different areas of Orange County, California.
D. His need for a job and an inexpensive apartment.
- According to the passage, why did Pedro go to Fullerton, California?
A. To find a job at a restaurant.
B. To explore downtown Fullerton.
C. To enroll in a community college.
D. To visit the beach.
- What was Pedro’s initial job in the United States?
A. Cook at a restaurant.
B. Bartender at a restaurant.
C. Dishwasher at a restaurant.
D. Waiter at a restaurant.
- How did Pedro improve his English skills?
A. By watching movies and reading books.
B. By attending free English classes at Fullerton College.
C. By working with his colleagues online.
D. By listening to real electricians talking.
- Why did Pedro want to become fluent in English?
A. To communicate with his new American friends.
B. To have a good career in the United States.
C. To be able to attend Anaheim Campus.
D. To impress his parents with his language skills.
- What did Pedro do after completing the Electrician’s Assistant certificate program?
A. Started working as an apprentice.
B. Applied for a business license.
C. Bought a new work van.
D. Hired two more electricians.
- How did Pedro advertise his business?
A. Through flyers mailed throughout Orange County.
B. By hiring a web designer to build a business website.
C. By placing ads in the newspaper.
D. All of the above.
- What does the passage suggest about Pedro’s character?
A. He was determined and hardworking.
B. He was lazy and unmotivated.
C. He was lucky and privileged.
D. He was indecisive and unsure.
- What was Pedro grateful for at the end of the passage?
A. The opportunities he was given in the United States.
B. The support of his parents and friends.
C. The success of his business.
D. The fame he achieved as an electrician.
- Based on the passage, what can be inferred about Pedro’s future plans?
A. He wants to retire and spend time with his family.
B. He wants to expand his business and hire more employees.
C. He wants to travel back to Peru and visit his parents.
D. He wants to start a new career unrelated to electrical work.
- Which of the following best describes Pedro’s attitude towards learning English?
A. Reluctant and uninterested.
B. Committed and dedicated.
C. Frustrated and discouraged.
D. Indifferent and apathetic.
- How did Pedro’s English skills contribute to his success as an electrician?
A. They helped him communicate effectively with customers.
B. They allowed him to negotiate better contracts.
C. They enabled him to understand complex electrical concepts.
D. They improved his writing skills for documentation purposes.
- What obstacles did Pedro face in his journey towards success in the United States?
A. Language barriers and financial difficulties.
B. Lack of job opportunities and discrimination.
C. Cultural differences and personal insecurities.
D. Health issues and family responsibilities.
- How did Pedro’s experience as a dishwasher contribute to his success as a business owner?
A. It taught him the importance of hard work and perseverance.
B. It provided him with valuable networking opportunities.
C. It gave him a solid foundation in the restaurant industry.
D. It allowed him to save money for his business venture.
- What can be inferred about Pedro’s relationship with his parents?
A. They disapproved of his decision to move to the United States.
B. They were financially dependent on him.
C. They supported and encouraged his pursuit of success.
D. They were indifferent and distant.