The Leadership Center Honors The Rahm Family and Welcomes New Leadership

Dear Friends of LMI and The Leadership Center,

All of us at Leadership Mission International would like to thank you for your generosity and support. Whether you’ve been a student sponsor, participated in a team mission trip, encouraged and motivated our students through social media, contributed to a business start-up, or participated in our organization in many other ways, we want to make sure you know how grateful we are for your support. With your continued support and encouragement, we work hard to educate and develop young women of rural Honduras so that they can make a positive impact in their communities and country.

This is an exciting time for Leadership Mission International as we take the next steps to sustain and grow our ministry and mission.

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Some of you may already know that Joseph Rahm, our current campus director, Hailey and their four children will be returning to the United States permanently at the end of November. While this is sad news for many people who know Joseph and his family, we are very excited about our new TLC campus director. Mizraim Tovar, along with his wife, Sayra and children Pablo and Elisa, will be moving to The Leadership Center on October 1st. Mizraim has nearly 15 years of experience working in various organizations, churches, and bilingual schools in Honduras. We are excited about having a Honduran director on campus, and feel very confident that Mizraim and his family will lead and manage our campus activities and programming following in the footsteps of Joseph and Hailey's outstanding history.

LMI has also hired our first US-based Executive Director. Hannah Bryant is a former LMI board member, teacher at The Leadership Center, and has three years of educational management experience working in Honduras with another educational organization. Hannah is a licensed teacher in the state of Washington, and has a passion for education, leadership development, and women’s empowerment. We feel confident that her knowledge and experience with the organization is going to allow her to lead LMI into a very bright future as we strive to educate, train, and develop more young Honduran women to become a new generation of ethical leaders.

Joseph will continue his support and engagement with LMI and TLC, as an active board member. He will work with Hannah and Mizraim as a close adviser and mentor over the next year.

While Joseph’s future is not completely clear with regards to his new work and geographic location, he and Hailey are fully committed to the mission and vision of LMI which they were instrumental in establishing and developing. We are particularly excited that they will be active in the United States by connecting individuals, families, churches, and organizations to the work that we are doing in Honduras. We are confident that his knowledge and experience will be an asset to the organization for many years to come.

Feel free to congratulate Hannah and Mizraim on their new roles, and to thank Joseph, Hailey and their family for almost nine years of service living in Honduras. We look forward to many more great years as we move into a bright future educating, training, and developing a new generation of ethical women leaders!

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On behalf of the board of LMI, Joseph, Hailey, Hannah and Mizraim, thank you very much for your support and encouragement.

Dan Moore
Chairman, Leadership Mission International

Becoming Family ~ Graduate Reflections by Lizeth Sanchez

Written By Lizeth Sanchez

One day I overheard a young woman named, Alina, talking about how she had graduated from The Leadership Center a few years ago. I was very interested in this place that she spoke so highly of. I paid a lot of attention to what she was saying and after leaving the conversation I went straight home and told my mom that I wanted to go to The Leadership Center.  We were both very excited about the opportunity.   I interviewed the following year and to my delight, I was accepted!

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The first couple weeks were so difficult for me, I remember that I use to go to take a shower at night, not because it was hot, but because it was the only place I could cry without anyone knowing.  That sounds crazy, but I missed my home a lot and I didn’t’ think anyone would understand it. I thought the other students would laugh at me. (Now I know that my roommates would never do that!)  The idea of sharing a room with 9 other girls that I didn’t know did not sound fun at all. At my home, I had my own room!  Well, many things at TLC were new for me and I didn’t know if I was ready for it all.

Fortunately, all of those fears and difficult times in the beginning passed and all my thoughts and feelings were changed for the better!  Personally, one of the greatest things I learned was the importance of having friends and being honest with them.  At the beginning, it wasn’t fun or easy to share my feelings with others.  I was more than sure my roommates and other people had more important things to do that to listen to my feelings and problems, but I discovered that I was wrong.  Throughout my time at TLC my roommates and classmates became more than friends, they were becoming family.  I learned to be more aware of what was going on around me and to know when I needed someone to help me or give me advice.  I stopped thinking about just how I was feeling and started to think about how I could help others around me who might be feeling the same way.

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“Throughout my time at TLC my roommates and classmates became more than friends, they were becoming family”

Learning to care about others helped me realize that my life has meaning and purpose. I have seen many families destroyed, many kids living with just one of their parents and many difficult marriages and that is not something that I want to see continue in my country.  I really want to help others by becoming a marriage counselor and provide the best help that I can.   It won’t be easy, partly because I am not married yet but I believe because I have the passion and desire to help, and even some ideas to start that I will accomplish this goal of mine.  I also have accountability partners and mentors who will help me continue towards this dream.   I believe that if you want to help, that you don’t need much to start.  I really want to reach this goal and I am praying to God that He will bring this to reality.

I won’t ever forget about my experiences here at TLC. What is easy? No. but nothing in life worth having is easy, so I am proud of myself and my accomplishment and of the other girls as well.  The Leadership Center has change my life for the better and I will always be thankful for all the hard-work that everyone at TLC has done for me and for other women.  Thank you to all the staff members and teachers for never leaving us alone and for trusting in us when others didn’t. 

More Than an Organization, We Are a Family, a Community, a Home

Written By Mary Maldonado (2019 TLC Graduate)

I came to TLC and I found a second family with whom I grew up in different areas of our lives. We laughed and we cried and we had fun together.  They are my favorite people and those who have made it all worthwhile.  My life change since I arrived at The Leadership Center.  I learned that I am able to achieve all my goals and dreams if I work hard and I am persistent.  TLC believed in me even when many other people told me that I was not going to achieve anything.  In this place, I found myself and discovered my passion for community development and education.  At TLC I developed my leadership skills and I obtained the necessary tools to go to my community and start something really important there and chance the lives of many people.  I know I do not need money to help my community and to be a leader.  TLC taught me that what we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others and the world remains and it is immortal.  That is the legacy that I want to live in my community and that is exactly what the leadership Center is doing in the lives of many young women in Honduras.  The teachings, and the encouragement that we received are engraved in our minds and hearts and hit is hoe our lives in The Leadership Center will be remembered not only by the students but also our families and friends.

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My experience at TLC can say that it has been the best in my life because they really helped me know my value and my abilities as a woman and as a human being.  I leave TLC with my backpack full of dreams and goals to fulfill. I know that I will always have the support of the people I met at TLC; I consider them my family now.  They have taught me that to live is to be present at every moment and that life always gives us a thousand reasons to smile and to be grateful.  TLC change my life and has motivated me to be brace, God fearing, persistent and compassionate with those in need.  Here I have received love, understanding, friends and words of encouragement when I needed them most.  In a few worlds, TLC is a life changer and empower women to believe in themselves and to be agents of change in Honduras. “

Graduate Reflections - Darling Ramos

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My experiences at TLC have been incredible because they are not like any other memories or experiences that I have ever had. I will never forget my time at TLC and all that I have learned.  One of the best experiences I had at TLC is learning about community development and putting into practice what we have learned in the nearby communities.  This is not only an organization; TLC is the home of many girls who want to make a difference in our country.  TLC teaches us to have wisdom in our relationships and in our communities.  Every moment that I have spent at TLC has been so wonderful because every day we open up something new to put into practice in our lives.  We meet with God each morning at devotionals and learn of His great wonders and his love for us.  In class, we have learned so much from each staff member.  All these incredible people have helped change us and those changes that we made will never leave us. 

I am very grateful for TLC and all the help they gave to me during my two years at TLC.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want to show you that I am grateful by putting everything that I have learned into practice.  You have given me many tools to help me change my country for the better and thanks to you I am ready to be a part of that change.  Thank you for helping me!

Thank you, with love, Darling Ramos

My Meeting with the Ambassador of Honduras

Written By Lenis Garcia (Graduate of The Leadership Center 2016)

In December, 2018, I was fortunate to represent Leadership Mission International in meetings in Virginia to raise awareness for The Leadership Center.  in a presentation at the Chamber of Commerce in Northern Virginia, I had the opportunity to meet a very nice lady named Nilda Lopez. Nilda is the counselor of the Honduran Embassy in Washington D.C. She had been invited to the meeting by one of our board members to learn about the mission of the organization. She was impressed by the impact TLC is having in the lives of young ladies in Honduras.  That’s why Nilda, then set up a meeting with the Ambassador Marlon Tábora.

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Marlon Tábora is an influential Honduran man who is an important representative of the government of Honduras. I was so grateful for such a privilege to meet him at the Honduran Embassy in Washington D.C.

In the meeting, we spoke about the necessity of educating young women in our country.  Ambassador Tabora expressed great interest to help and gratitude to the people who are working and supporting TLC. Ambassador Tábora shared that he comes from a rural area of Honduras and studied in public schools with many difficulties.  Therefore, he understands the challenges young Honduran people face in order to get an education. The Ambassador, also took a time to encourage me to work hard to accomplish my dreams and to take advantage of the great opportunities God has given me and the other TLC students to gain more knowledge that will not only help us individually but it will help many families in Honduras leave from poverty. 

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Ambassador Marlon Tábora and Nilda Lopez are kind Honduran leaders and are excited to contribute in any way they can to support The Leadership Center. Their visit to TLC will meaningful to the organization and it will be a great opportunity for them to interact with the students and be encouraged to work together for the development of our beautiful country, Honduras.  

TLC Graduate Spotlight - Yudy C.

Graduation from TLC in September of 2016 marked the beginning of a whirlwind of productive endeavors for our friend Yudy.

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Upon her return to her home community of Francia, Yudy began an ongoing volunteer relationship with Carolina Honduras Health Foundation (CHHF).  Initially Yudy served as a medical interpreter for two days in November of 2016, and later as a dental assistant for a week in both 2017 and 2018. 

In November of 2016, Yudy moved to La Ceiba, to begin a two-year job as a Customer Service Interpreter for Language Line Solutions, (LLS). Yudy quickly advanced and became a Certified Medical Interpreter for LLS by completing training, testing and 2000 hours of practice as a medical interpreter. In January of 2017, Yudy started classes at CEUTEC initially majoring in logistical engineering and then later switching her major to Public Accounting and Finance.  (During her two years of working with LLS, Yudy also ran a successful online retail business, YUME, selling clothing and perfumes to friends, business associates and classmates.)

Yudy’s anticipated graduation from CEUTEC is early in 2021 and one of the requirements for her diploma is completing a Project or an Internship in social community service. Naturally, Yudy intends to do both.  Some of the community service projects Yudy has already participated in for her degree include Mother’s Day Events, Clothing Drives, distributing food to the needy and planting trees and collecting trash near the ocean.

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In the Fall of 2018, Yudy also submitted a proposal to the TLC Community Engagement Initiative for Alumni.  Yudy received funding and established a jewelry making co-op in La Mayo.  The co-op is thriving and continues to recruit members and provide additional training sessions for its members. In addition to financial benefits, this co-op has provided its members with a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth.  It has also strengthened the bonds between the women in the community.   Yudy continues to provide support to the co-op in the form of motivational talks, marketing advice and jewelry packaging consultations.

Yudy’s newest project is assisting the farmers in her community with their tax preparation.  This endeavor will provide Yudy with practical experience beneficial to her future career as an accountant.

Of all of these activities, Yudy speaks most passionately about her community service activities and how she has been able to motivate others to participate in those activities.  “I am very happy to see some of my colleagues working in service to those less fortunate in our country. Many of them are surprised by the good feelings they receive in doing this work.  I am hopeful for this new generation of Hondurans.”  

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In Yudy, we feel the next generation of Hondurans is in very good hands.  Congratulations, Yudy. We applaud your success as a  business owner, student and community volunteer. We are very proud of you.

TLC Graduate Hosts Event That Changes Lives

My name is Marta and I graduated from The Leadership Center in 2013. 

Leadership Mission International invests in their graduates to help them begin to work in their communities to improve their platform and give them a place to be able to have positive influence.

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I applied for an opportunity for Leadership Mission International to give financial support to a graduate to put on an event in their community, and I was selected!  

My community event was done on Saturday August 18th in Rio Esteban Balfate, Colon located in the Northern part of Honduras, about 10 minutes from the beach; this is a very beautiful and cultural place.

The event I organized was a church conference that started on time and all pieces were put together in the way they should! The pastors arrived the same day alongside with their families to speak at this conference.

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We prayed that the people who were invited would come and that the Word to be preached would reach and touch hearts in need. As the first conference was shared, by Pastor Danilo, the people started to laugh and interact with him and enjoy his message. That continued throughout the whole program. About 10 people received Jesus that day and others asked for God’s presence in its fullest.

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It was very satisfying to see their tears while they surrendered to the Savior, which was our main purpose and I could say it was achieved!

The local team of women and men in the church were in charge of the meal and other support activities.  It was also satisfying to see them work with such Joy and passion as for God and not for men. They were amazed how the event was developed and could also see God’s hand through everything that was done on that day.

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The local leaders and I are hoping that this kind of event can be done in the future and hope to spread God’s Word in surrounding villages so that they can attend to the next event.

We are all very grateful for the encouragement and support of Leadership Mission International!

Transforming Communities through Small Acts of Kindness

Written By Saylin Ramirez (Second year student)

I chose to serve as a volunteer with a medical team for a whole week in Limon Colon, during my quarterly vacation. I am thankful to God for this opportunity that I had. I went around my community with two members of the medical team, Dr. Joe and Christy and gave medical assistance to elderly people who couldn’t go the clinic due to their physical disabilities. We also helped prepare the medicine for the staff to use. Through this service I was able to meet more people in my community and build new relationships. I also enjoyed learning more about the community.

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Saylin Ramirez

“…I realized that I don’t need to be powerful or have an “important” place in my community to start doing something that matters.”

I felt joy seeing smiles and hope on their face. I felt useful in my community and I realized that I don’t need to be powerful or have an “important” place in my community to start doing something that matters. As I served around my community I learned about the needs of the people but I also sensed a spirit of change; they encouraged me to keep working hard so that someday I can help my community with what I am learning here at TLC. 

I would like to help the people of my community discover their skills, their abilities and to know that they are valuable and powerful and that they can make changes in the community, because they are a pattern of change. I would like my community to have good opportunities for women, men, youth, children, and elderly people, so that they can have a better lifestyle. I know that I am helping reach that goal by working hard with them.

Finally, I just want to say that I really enjoyed serving in my community and having a nice time with many people. 

TLC Community Project Makes a Big Impact

Written By Yudy Canelas

 

I submitted a proposal to TLC requesting a small investment toward a jewelry-making community project and was approved to receive the funding.

 

The original idea of the project was at a local community at the church five minutes away from o La Ceiba´s dump  where people go there to look for plastic bottles, useful stuffs from the garbage for recycling so that they can make their daily living, however the pastor from the church stated that recently there were some safety issues  and that he was concerned about it for the tutors, besides that someone was living in the place where the lessons were going to be taught.

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I looked for another church of a pastor who works for Carolinas’ healthcare foundation. He liked the project and his wife, Leslie helped me to communicate to the people around the community.

 

It took place in a really rural community called La Mayo, it is about 40 minutes away from La Ceiba. The project started on Sunday 26th at 9:00 am and it finished at 2:00 pm. There were two tutors giving the classes and I was making sure that everything was well organized, and I also was supporting the ten ladies.

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Anahi, one of the tutors that I hired told her mother Mirian about this project and she volunteered for it. She gave a small speech about entrepreneurship and she gave a testimony about her little jewelry business. She also belongs to a small psychological motivation group. 

 

By lunchtime we served some chicken sandwiches and the ladies brought their children to the church. We did like Jesus with the bread and fish because there were many people.

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The ladies learned how to make a purse and two earrings’ style. You may be wondering about the follow up for this project, that is totally understandable. We will go back to do another session in September. We left some products so that they would be able to practice and there are two goals, one personal goal and a team goal.

 

The personal goal is if someone makes about 5 different products by the time we go back, we will give Lps 200 bonus

 

The team goal is to get all of them organized as a cooperative and make products and resell them and save the money, so that they can support themselves obtaining the profits.

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One of the learners stated, “People lack of many opportunities and now we can focus in something else, rather than just seeing people passed by and wait until our husbands and children come back home”.

 

I really want to thank you under the name of these ladies who took benefited of this project, personally I'm truly grateful from the bottom of my heart for the special opportunity that you gave me. I just wanted to let you know how generous and supportive I think you are.

 

Sincerely,

 

Yudy Canelas

 

An Abundance of Grace - Honduras trip provides students with a rich cultural experience

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A presidential election crisis. Mass demonstrations. Political unrest. Police crackdowns.

Sounds like scenarios across the globe over the last two years: United States, France, Kenya, Britain, Italy.

But in this case it is Honduras.

Lafayette students and faculty were there soon after votes were cast, but they were far removed from the turmoil.

In a remote location within a large national forest....

To read the full article, click here.

 

 

TLC Launches 17 New Graduates!

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The Leadership Center hosted its graduation for two cohorts - Cohort 6 and Cohort 7 - on Saturday, March 17th. Between the two groups, we graduated 17 students, who are preparing to launch into the next chapter of their lives. 

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Cohort 7 Grad

Odalys

Some have already launched small businesses; some are seeking employment opportunities with bilingual schools, NGOs, or other businesses; and some plan to continue their studies. Leadership Mission International is extremely proud of their accomplishments, and we look forward to following them on their professional and academic journeys in the coming years.

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Cohort 6 Grad

Nely with TLC President, Joseph Rahm

Lessons in Gardening, Lessons in Life

I like nature because I love its Creator.

I enjoy working in the gardens because of what happens in them.  It is amazing because it’s God’s hand that makes life possible.  My experience of working as a gardening has been great, especially when I am watering the plants.  When I am watering the plants, I have a lot of time to think; I think of many things that have happened in my life and I also think about the future.

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The truth is that I enjoy every work that a gardener has. I enjoy the entire process.  Starting with the preparation of the land and soil to the harvest. I enjoy the whole process because it reminds me of the spiritual life. I think in how God prepares me and how he is always taking care of me as I have to do with the garden plants.

During my time of working in the gardens I have learned many things. I have learned how to be patient for the harvest.  I have learned that I need to take care of the deeds if I want them to grow, because if I don’t take care of them they won’t’ grow and I won’t’ get anything out of it!

The most important thing I have learned is that if I want to harvest something [in life], I must plant first.

Written by first year student: Angeles Silva

TLC Receives 2017 Super Service Challenge Award!

The Leadership Center is humbled and honored to have received recognition of our mission from a nationwide movement called the Super Service Challenge. Founded in 2011, the Super Service Challenge mission is "driven by the idea that people and teams grow stronger when they join together to serve causes they care about." They believe in promoting volunteerism and allowing individuals and groups to share their stories of service from around the world. Each year they recognize stories and videos from people who are involved in missions and service projects. They promote the organization and encourage people to give to and serve with an organization and cause they are passionate about. The Super Service Challenge believes one of the best ways to encourage engagement is through joining together in service.  Click  here  to view the video that received the award and recognition.   This video was created and submitted by a team from Northern Virginia, led by Kathy Albarado from Helios, HR firm. In 2017, they traveled to The Leadership Center campus in Honduras to serve for a week. Aside from Kathy, this was the first trip down for the rest of the team, but a lasting impression was made and an ongoing relationship formed. Individuals from that team have maintained involvement with TLC through sponsorships, stateside volunteerism, communication with students and even return trips to campus. 

The Leadership Center is humbled and honored to have received recognition of our mission from a nationwide movement called the Super Service Challenge. Founded in 2011, the Super Service Challenge mission is "driven by the idea that people and teams grow stronger when they join together to serve causes they care about." They believe in promoting volunteerism and allowing individuals and groups to share their stories of service from around the world. Each year they recognize stories and videos from people who are involved in missions and service projects. They promote the organization and encourage people to give to and serve with an organization and cause they are passionate about. The Super Service Challenge believes one of the best ways to encourage engagement is through joining together in service.

Click here to view the video that received the award and recognition. 

This video was created and submitted by a team from Northern Virginia, led by Kathy Albarado from Helios, HR firm. In 2017, they traveled to The Leadership Center campus in Honduras to serve for a week. Aside from Kathy, this was the first trip down for the rest of the team, but a lasting impression was made and an ongoing relationship formed. Individuals from that team have maintained involvement with TLC through sponsorships, stateside volunteerism, communication with students and even return trips to campus. 

   
  
    
  
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    All of us at The Leadership Center are thankful for the dedication and service of individuals and teams like this one! If you would like to experience firsthand the amazing students of The Leadership Center, the rich culture of Honduras and the depth of our mission to educate a generation of ethical women leaders, join us for one of our 2018 missions and volunteer teams! More information is available on our  website . For additional questions and information, please email Brielle, brielle.hibma@leadershipmissioninternational.org.

All of us at The Leadership Center are thankful for the dedication and service of individuals and teams like this one! If you would like to experience firsthand the amazing students of The Leadership Center, the rich culture of Honduras and the depth of our mission to educate a generation of ethical women leaders, join us for one of our 2018 missions and volunteer teams! More information is available on our website. For additional questions and information, please email Brielle, brielle.hibma@leadershipmissioninternational.org.

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Reflections on Christmas

In Christmas, we remember the birth of the World’s Savior.  The most powerful king who was born with humility and who has brought peace to our hearts, giving us the best example of love.  

Every Christmas in Honduras we remember the birth of Jesus through the traditional advent celebrations.

We start a few days before Christmas, visiting homes in the community to think about the moments when Mary and Joseph were looking for a place where Mary could give birth to their first-born son, Jesus.  We sing Christmas carols at the front door of every house. Then we share food with the people who participate in this celebration.

On Christmas day, we start very early in the morning to prepare all different kinds of good.  We make Tamales, Torrejas, sweet breads, Empanadas, rice with chicken, squash with honey, baked chicken, salads, fruit cocktail, baked pork and cakes.  In many family, we had a bonfire in our yard and put tables and chairs around it.  Our neighbors, friends relatives and church members come to our house and we share the delicious dinner together.  We talk about our experience during the year and everyone shares their hopes for the new year. 

Christmas brings us together and it reminds us that we should live with humility, peace and love.

-Written by Mary Maldonado, TLC First Year Student

Students Give Back to Their Community in a Big Way

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My name is Danelia

I want to share with you a little bit about my last weekend. One classmate of mine and some of the first-year students went to a village nearby TLC to sell bread. The reason of why we went is because a student’s mom is sick and needs money for a surgery, so we made bread on Saturday and went selling on Sunday. We all were so happy to help.

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It was fun because we met new people and we spent great time together. We went to two soccer fields and we finished selling in the houses around the community. It was nice because we got to share information about our University. People asked what TLC is, how the students get here and what we are studying here, so we took advantage of the opportunity to share about this organization. It was a really nice experience, I enjoyed it!

First Year Students Learn More than English at TLC

My name is Gibelly and I am a first-year student at TLC.

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I have been at TLC for 3 trimesters and have done many things that I have never done before like:

Taking care of the cows in the first quarter. When I learned that I was responsible for caring for the cows and milking them I was like “WOW!”  but with time I felt more comfortable doing it and then I ended up really enjoying it! It helped having another classmate with me too.  We got to name the new baby calf that was born that quarter and we  named it “Keygi” (KAY-JEE) which is a combination of the beginning of  classmates name and mine :)  (Keyli + Gibelly).  I will never forget that experience.

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Here at TLC I have also discovered that I really like to read.  When I go to the library and see all of the books I feel excited and I want to read all of them! Though I know that’s impossible!

I have been learning English at TLC and there are many words that I still don’t understand or that I don’t know how to conjugate yet and that makes it more difficult to read books in English but I hope someday to be able to understand English very well when I am reading.

A dream of mine is to speak English very well and I know that If I practice with other people and try to give my best, I can do it!

I am excited to continue learning new things, meeting new people and discovering what life has for me. 

LMI Book Club

My name is Mairyn Hernandez. I am the leader of the Book Club at The Leadership Center.  I have been doing it for 5 months now. A woman named Mrs. Chris started this club last year when she was teaching. When she left, she asked me to lead it.  I learned from her how to lead a book club. She is very good at doing it and I really enjoy leading it now. 

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The Book Club is attended by some first-year students and second year students. We all meet together every Monday evening to discuss short stories.  The stories are fiction stories but at the end of our discussion everyone is able to find something interesting in the story that we can apply in our lives.  Every story has a moral that we can learn from.

While discussing the story, everyone is able to learn new English words that they don’t know which is good. I think having a book club is a really good way to help first year students learn more English and for second year students to improve their English pronunciation.  I really enjoy this group because it is a good opportunity to build community and have fun together.

I love reading the stories and having good discussions with my classmates!

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