Theresa Tran (EOPS Counseling Faculty)
"I’ve been drawn to helping others, especially those who have faced obstacles and/or are learning another language, like many of the students in EOPS."
Drawn to Helping Others
People sometimes compliment me on how well I write or speak English, but that wasn’t always the case. My mother, sisters and I came to the U.S. as refugees from a war-torn Vietnam in 1975.
I went from living in a comfortable household in a tropical climate to being very low-income and enduring the winter snows of Nebraska. One memory that still stays with me is, as a six year-old, I was trying to ask for some tape, but I didn’t know the word.
I grunted and gestured, but the nice woman trying to help me couldn’t understand what I was trying to say. I felt incredibly frustrated and helpless. Maybe that’s one reason why I’ve been drawn to helping others, especially those who have faced obstacles and/or are learning another language, like many of the students in EOPS.
The Support of the EOPS Program
One thing that has helped me tremendously throughout my life has been my interest in reading. I often tell students that there is a strong correlation between how much one reads and how well one writes, and that they should read as much as possible. Even in the days when I spoke broken English or couldn’t verbally express my thoughts, I always had the power to read, and that was something that I could control.
It doesn’t matter if one is low-income, is learning English as a second or third language, or hasn’t previously done well in school; get in the habit of reading! It’s a solid investment, and the more you do it, the richer your pay-off will be.