Volunteer Spotlight - Sally Le

December 4, 2012 Volunteer Stories
Sally Le is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts. She grew up in the Main South area of the city. Sally is currently majoring in math at the College of the Holy Cross located in her hometown. She also volunteers as a tutor in the LSS (now Ascentria Care Alliance) Services for New Americans program (SNA). As a daughter of immigrants, Sally spent time as a teenager teaching adult family members English in her home. Sally said she was inspired to start tutoring because of her family’s experience.

“I knew through my family how difficult it was to be here in America without being able to speak English.”

Kamali, a refugee from Bhutan, is a student in the SNA language program and is also in the Refugee Integration through Service Enhancement (RISE) employment program. As a refugee, Kamali’s goal is to one day be independent and self sufficient. Towards that goal Kamali had a job at FedEx but lost it because she could not understand the zip codes on the packages. Brigid Palcic, the RISE employment counselor, knew that for Kamali to successfully maintain a job it was essential that she be able to recognize and understand numbers. To Brigid it was clear that Sally was the perfect tutor for Kamali.

Sally has been working successfully with Kamali since September. Her goal was to teach Kamali to not only recognize and understand numbers but also to be able to add them. She said that repetition and trying to explain addition through a language barrier was frustrating at times; but when Kamali was able to go through the addition flash cards correctly, Sally was thrilled and said, I feel like I did something!”

Kamali recently began working at FedEx again and has not had any problems understanding zip codes on the packages. She is proud and excited about being back on the track towards self-sufficiency. Brigid Palcic says, “Working with Sally has made all the difference in Kamali being able to remain employed.”