BSP: Working Towards the American Dream
July  2015  Newsletter


At the age of 66, Francisca O. is a proud mother of 7, with a total of 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Living in the United States for 51 years, it was always Francisca's goal to attain her citizenship before the day she retired. However, due her lack of education she was always deterred from pursuing the opportunity.

Francisca has never attended a formal school in her life and lacked the basic writing and reading skills she felt were necessary to pass the naturalization exam. Serving as a shop steward for SEIU for over 20 years, Francisca took the opportunity to finally pursue her goal through BSP's citizenship instruction held in the San Jose. When asked what motivated her, she said, "I have lived in this country for a long time and I have a lot to be thankful during my time here, it had always been a dream of mine to have the ability to vote one day." Despite her limitations in literacy, she consistently attended BSP's classes where she appreciated the sense of community that allowed her to be confident in her learning. This past April, Francisca passed her naturalization exam with zero errors, finally accomplishing her goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.

When asked what words of advice she would give to others, she says, "I tell everyone that it doesn't matter how old you are or what your limitations are, with a strong desire and hard work you can accomplish a lot."

In Pursuit of the American Dream
Janitor, Amparo (Center) and family

When Amparo G. immigrated to the United States from Mexico, she dreamed of a better life. She is employed as a janitor at Warner Brothers Studios corporate office, where she has worked for the past 20 years - working hard in pursuit of the American Dream. She has completed BSP's workplace ESL training, computer and financial literacy classes, and participated in health and wellness program. As a parent leader in our Parent University, she now informs other immigrant parents about how they can help their children in pursuit of the American Dream. Her oldest son, Diego, is currently attending Humboldt State University.

Expanding ESL, Civics, and Citizenship
in Our State's Capital
Citizenship Class in Sacramento

As a result of an expansion grant from The James Irvine Foundation, BSP has been able to increase its programming and now provide citizenship instruction for the first time in Sacramento. Immigrant workers participating in the 15-week course will learn the topics necessary to successfully pass the naturalization exam and interview. This includes learning US history and civics, and having basic English comprehension and writing skills. As part of the course, International Rescue Committee gave a workshop on the application process, addressing the students' questions and clarifying misconceptions about what it takes to gain become naturalized. Throughout the course, these aspiring Americans could be heard practicing the oath of allegiance, conducting mock-interviews together, or testing each other with civics flashcards. BSP looks forward to hearing good news from these new Americans in the coming months after their exams are completed.

Expanding Opportunities for Immigrant Workers
Olga, Janitor at Facebook

Originally from Mexico, Olga B. has been a janitor in Silicon Valley for the past 30 years, and an active community member, theater actress, musician and songwriter. 
As a janitor at Facebook, she recently participated in BSP's workplace ESL training.  Two months after graduating, Olga was promoted from night to day shift, receiving a $3.25 per hour increase. "I feel more energized sleeping normal hours; I even eat healthier, and I enjoy being able to practice my English with people at work," said Olga. She is now enrolled in BSP's Pre-GED class at Facebook.

Thank you Hines and American Building Maintenance (ABM) for collaborating to make stories like Olga's a reality.

Arturo, Ernesto, Olga, and Alicia are the recent graduates of BSP's first pre-GED class that launched this past fall. All four students immigrated from Mexico over 20 years ago and have endured decades of hard work in this country with the common goal of realizing the American Dream for themselves and their families. When asked what the impact this opportunity will provide, Arturo said, "When I first enrolled in BSP's pre-GED program, I never thought I would be taking this kind of big step towards my future." All four students have taken the initiative to continue striving towards their goals and will continue to enroll at Mountain View Los Altos Adult School to obtain their GED.

Hot Off The Press!
BSP Receives  California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) Sub-Award
The Los Angels Community College District (LACCD) received the California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) grant. This grant will support BSP and LACCD's long standing collaboration through a $100,000 sub-award to develop career pathway and meet the needs of business and the industry.
BSP Awarded NCLR Grant 


BSP's  Parent University program was awarded a $5,000 grant from the  National Council of La Raza  and the  California Science Center . This grant will allow BSP to continue to expose immigrant families to the sciences by taking them to the California Science Center. For many this will be their first time visiting a science museum.
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