"I've been volunteering (teaching ESL) with POBLO since its beginning here in Rochester. I didn't feel very 'qualified' for this since I'm not a trained teacher, but I do love language and, being a 'native speaker' of English, I figured that my students would, at least, be getting valuable time practicing/learning with someone whose first language is English. I'm so glad that I took the plunge! I've met such sweet people who are SO grateful for the time I spend with them!
For some time now I've had only Chinese students (young women whose husbands are working at Mayo for a time) who are very eager to learn as much English as I can teach them! They're especially interested in our idioms AND improving their pronunciation. It is gratifying to see their interest in anything American. They are like 'little sponges' who want to soak up as much of the American life/culture that they can before they head back to China. And, as I get closer to these young women, I'm able to share my faith. I'm glad to be a part of that and to have easily come to love these young women! One of my students has already returned to China with her husband and newborn son and OH! how I miss her! We need MANY more volunteers of all sorts. Please consider helping us!" - Julie Gehrking
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