Idaly Arredondo

My first mistake was quitting school in Mexico.  I was pregnant and embarrassed to stay in school. I thought it was a good decision, but I made my mom feel so bad.

My second mistake was leaving home and living with the father of my kids.  He was violent in many ways.  I could not make my own decisions.  My mom wanted to give me support, but he would not allow it, which I permitted.

After I had the opportunity to come to the United States, I decided to change my life.  I started to work in a restaurant even though I didn’t speak English. This was the first job in my life. I was very happy. I started making biscuits, meeting new people, learning new positions and learning a little more English. I felt important, useful and independent. I progressed from crew, making biscuits, to shift leader, to helping the manager, to co-manager, and finally assistant unit director. I still did not speak much English, but I learned my job by watching, taking notes and working hard. The restaurant wanted to promote me again - to unit manager – if I could speak more English.

Everything was going well at work, but I was still in that abusive relationship until I became tired and finally opened my eyes. I realized it was not good for me or my kids.  I decided to separate. I went to Mainstay where I learned about the Literacy Council.  I came to BRLC to learn English and got the courage to end that relationship.

With the help of my BRLC tutors my English improved and, even though I was scared, I was finally able to accept the new promotion. I am also studying for the GED. When my English is very good, I want to become a tutor myself.

I want to improve myself, make up for past mistakes and to make my mom happy. People can make their dreams their reality.  Mistakes in the past cannot stop your dreams.  It’s never too late.

Postscript 10-2015:  When her employer decided to open a new restaurant last year, Idaly was given full responsibility for interviewing, hiring, and supervising the opening and operation of the facility.