Whole Foods Market: Employee Student Portrait

Guest Post by Susan Bell
Instructor, Westchester Community College

Victor de la Cruz is one of the students I teach at Westchester Community College, as part of Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce. Victor is originally from Peru, and is quiet in class, but determined to learn English. He just got his first email address, and we are looking forward to introducing him to the coursework on the computer.

Victor works in the sushi department at Whole Foods in White Plains. When I told him in class that I didn’t like sushi because it was raw, he said, “Shrimp tempura!” He doesn’t speak much English yet, but he definitely knows about the food he prepares.

The day after our second class, I went to visit Victor at the White Plains store. At first he seemed a little surprised to see me outside the classroom. When I told him I wanted to try the sushi he recommended, he handed me a package of spicy shrimp tempura that he’d prepared. He’s right. It’s delicious!

It would be great to visit all my students in their workplace before we complete our course and help them reinforce their newly acquired skills on the job. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing them in class and encouraging them as much as possible.

Photo: Susan Bell conducts retail-specific  English course for Whole Foods Market employees at Westchester Community College.

For more student profiles and testimonials on Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce, please click here.

Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce is a project of the National Immigration Forum, in partnership with the Walmart Foundation, and Miami Dade College and Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education. In addition, the project is proud to partner locally with Westchester Community College, for instruction.

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