The Archives

Constitution and Citizenship Day 2020

September 2020 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

We thank Mr. Jonathan Gonzalez and the students from his Citizenship classes for their virtual celebration of Constitution and Citizenship Day 2020. These future United States citizens from The English Center celebrated this significant occasion via Zoom. The purpose of Constitution and Citizenship Day, which was officially established in 2004, is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens.


Career in a Year – Promo Video

June 2020 | BY M-DCPS


Early Childhood Education

December 2019 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Different backgrounds motivated two students to study Early Childhood Education. Ashley Monduy was born in Miami and works at a hostess at a fast food restaurant. She wants to work in a day care center in order to have a more financially stable job. She is planning to attend Miami-Dade College part-time She sees getting certified in Early Childhood Education as a stepping stone to her wish to become a high school teacher.

Imperio Ramos came to Miami from Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2016. She said, “In Ecuador I would take care of all of my friend’s kids and those in my family. There was no program to study about children.” She sees the Early Childhood Education program as an opportunity to one day own her own day care center. Her future plans include doing fundraising to offer scholarships to families who send their children to her center.

Both students agree that their teacher, Ms. Vera Lamar, is excellent because she teaches practical information they can understand and apply to taking care of children.

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Ms. Carballo along with Ms. Miranda

Importante escuela pública en Miami celebra graduación

Diciembre 2018 | Por Diario Las Americas

The English Center es administrado por el Distrito de Escuelas Públicas de Miami-Dade y fue creado en 1962 para proveer la enseñanza del idioma inglés a inmigrantes, y más tarde fue ampliado para instruir a inmigrantes y nacionales con las habilidades necesarias de una profesión.

MIAMI.- En un emotivo acto de graduación, el instituto público The English Center, en Miami, celebró la entrega de diplomas a 75 alumnos que cumplieron el trimestre del curso escolar 2018-2019, en las especialidades de cuidados de niños, técnico de aire acondicionado, diseño de medios, cosmetología, especialidad de uñas o faciales, operaciones de centros de cuidados de niños y redes de computadoras.

El graduado de secundaria básica Antonio Agostinho Cassanello estuvo a cargo de las palabras de apertura, a nombre de sus compañeros de clase.

Por otra parte, la directora del centro de enseñanza para adultos, Yamila Carballo, destacó la importancia de los estudios, independientemente de la edad, como “ejemplo de firmeza y perseverancia que para otros parecen inalcanzables”.

Además de la directora Carballo, asistieron al acto director administrativo Arnold Montgomery, el director del Distrito Escolar Rene Mantilla y los subdirectores del instituto Gonzalo Raventos, Manuel Ruiz y Ana M. Varona.

Asimismo, asistieron los profesores Mirtha Llanos-Castro, Oidely Martinez, Ivy Orbea y George Agustin, así como Alfredo Castellanos, Ernesto Ruiz de Villa, Percy Ordoñez, Noel Paz y Roberto Valdes.

The English Center es administrado por el Distrito de Escuelas Públicas de Miami-Dade y fue creado en 1962 para proveer la enseñanza del idioma inglés a los miles de refugiados cubanos que llegaban entonces a Miami y más tarde fue ampliado para instruir a inmigrantes y nacionales con las habilidades necesarias de una profesión.

The English Center, 3501 S.W. 28th Street, Miami. Telef. (305) 445-7731. Transporte público disponible por Metro, autobús y trolley.


Student Success Story

December 2018 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Edilma Torres, who has boys nine and five years old, flew to Miami from Venezuela in 2010. Nicole Jimenez, who has twins 2 1/2 years old, is from the Dominican Republic and recently moved from New York City to Miami. Why did they both end up enrolling in the Early Childhood Education program?
Edilma said, “I love to work with children because they make me happy. After finishing the program, I plan to go to college and study special needs education and then work at a school.” Nicole said, “I want to open my own day care center. I plan to take the Childcare Center Director class after finishing the Early Childhood Education program. I met our teacher Ms. Vera Lamar at a day care center. I told her I was planning to study at a college. Ms. Lamar informed me that the pace is faster studying at The English Center, and I will end up with a better certification.” Both Edilma and Nicole agreed that the class not only teaches students to be certified to take care of kids, but teaches things to apply to your own family and other children on a daily basis.

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It Was A Long Walk To The English Center

November 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

The social and political situation in Cuba two years ago motivated Lucy Salazar a teacher and an accountant, to leave Havana, Cuba to come to the United States. She traveled with her husband and 7 friends. During the trip, which cost $7,000, they hid and they slept. They walked a lot. Sometimes they took a bus or a boat. They crossed the border from Ecuador and went north to Colombia. Then they passed through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica and Mexico and crossed the U.S. border in Laredo.
She likes Miami because it has a large Cuban population and Hispanic cultures. A neighbor took her to The English Center to register for English class. Now she studies in Ms. Martinez’s cosmetology program. Lucy says, “I like to create styles and transform people. They come in one way and go out another.” She loves hairstyling and the idea of raising a client’s self-esteem. In the future she plans to study citizenship.

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Ms. Carballo along with Ms. Miranda

Actualidad Radio 1040A.M.noon show

October 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Our Principal, Ms. Yamila Carballo (Pictured on Right along with Ms. Maria Miranda, Principal of Miami Sunset Adult, Pictured on Left) was invited today as a guest on the Actualidad Radio 1040A.M.noon show. The broadcast showcased the many Adult Education program offerings of each school.


CTE News

October 2018 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Stephanie Galez was born in Miami, but her parents came from Peru. She is now enrolled in Digital Design, in Mr. Percy Ordonez’s class. She says she always wanted to study graphic arts. Although she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Marketing and a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising, she never had the opportunity to do Photoshop or learn graphic design.
She started a small business, now with only one client, hopes it will grow, and likes to work for herself. She wants to do marketing, social media, and give clients an on-line presence including designing their media advertisements. She says the Digital Design class is great. She is definitely learning the creative things she wanted to know.
Her classmate Kamina Brandon, who moved from New York City to Miami, agrees. She has an on-line business in women’s clothing and apparel called Kute Clothes. She wants to market her business online and gain the digital skills to create on-line content, create a web site , edit videos, including U2 videos. The course at TEC appealed to her more than at other schools because it covers different types of software. This is the first me Digital Design is being offered, and it is off to a successful start!

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2018 Red Ribbon Day at The English Center

October 2018 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

We thank Mrs. Elena Jakubowicz for her help with our Red Ribbon Day decorations and activities which was held at The English Center on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. The purpose of Red Ribbon Day, is to create awareness concerning the problems related to the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs and to support the decision to live a drug-free and healthy lifestyle.

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2018 Constitution and Citizenship Day at The English Center

September 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

We thank Mr. Jonathan Gonzalez and the students from his Citizenship classes for their help with our Constitution and Citizenship Day decorations and activities which were held at The English Center on Monday, September 17, 2018. The purpose of Constitution and Citizenship Day, which was officially established in 2004, is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens.


Ada’s pathway to becoming a U.S. citizen.

September 2018 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Ada Esther Solal Lebres left Cuba November 11, 1960 and went to Venezuela. She lived there for fifty-three years. She arrived in the United States on April 5, 2013 because she wanted a better life and freedom. She went to a local university and asked about where to go to study to be a U.S. citizen. From a list of schools, she selected Mr. Jonathan Gonzalez’s Citizenship class at The English Center. She has been studying for three trimesters. This month she will take her citizenship exam.
She has learned that to take the examination, in addition to an interview, she must not only answer 100 government questions about civics, history, and government and write a sentence pertaining to one of these topics, but also give the answers in English. It is essential that she have a strong foundation in English language skills to successfully pass all parts of the citizenship exam. She must demonstrate comprehension, listening, and speaking skills, not just memorization of information. Therefore, studying English and Citizenship was key on Ada’s pathway to becoming a U.S. citizen.


2018 TEC Job Fair. Now hiring was the focus

June 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Smiling faces of students, employers, and staff were on display at the Job Fair.  Now hiring was the focus.  Students had the opportunity to talk directly with employers about their skills and job requirements. Some businesses displayed their services. U.S. SCORE advertised a free mentoring service. Josef Silny and Associates promoted how they equate foreign education degrees with those in the United States. The Art Food Staffing Agency, the Minority Business Development Organization, and West Dade Career Services were just some of the businesses represented. The Job Fair was a success thanks to all participants and the organizers Marcela Arias and Martha  Duque.

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Student reveals why she enrolled in the Child Care class

May 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

It was Maritza Fernandez’s first day at school in the Child Care class. She applied for financial aid and was approved. She knew about the program because 10 years ago she studied English at the English Center. She enrolled in Child Care because she always felt she got along with kids. Also, she has a six-year-old daughter who motivated her to take the class. She wants to be a role model for her daughter, and when she completes the program take her daughter to the graduation ceremony. The program lasts six months and then she will be ready for employment. She wants to work at a private school to gain experience and someday operate her own child care center.


I didn’t pick Hairstyling. It chose me!

April 2018 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Hadassa Felix recalls as a child watching her mother comb her hair and saying to herself “I can do that.” By age 12 she could style adult hair. In high school, she studied Cosmetology but after two years she quit.  She attended a fashion design school for a year and then took massage therapy. She finished the course, but changed her mind. Then she again signed up for cosmetology, but changed her mind. She became a certified correction’s officer, then joined the military, and then started her own business. Every job felt like a job to her. She longed for a career that doesn’t feel like work. She is now enrolled in Ms. Martinez’s cosmetology class and says, “Hairstyling has been chasing me for so long. I stopped running and embraced it. I want to make people great on the outside, and I will feel it as well on the inside. I am ready to change lives, one hairstyle at a time.”


Today he is a school volunteer at The English Center

March 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Mario Pazos taught different courses including Chemistry, Agrochemical, and Methodology of Educational Research at Jose Mar University in Camaguey, Cuba for 39 years. He enrolled in ESOL at TEC in January 2012 and studied all of the levels. He then started studying Citizenship on-line with Ms. Anna Mariani, and finished the class at school with Mr. Johnathan Gonzalez. On April 7, 2017, he received U.S. citizenship. Today he is a school volunteer at TEC. When asked why he decided to volunteer he said, “I like to teach. I get self-satisfaction and feel good when I help people.” One day a week he works with his former teacher, Ms. Mariani, calling on-line ESOL students who need to participate with more online hours. On most other days, he helps students practice for the American citizenship interview. Since 2016 he also helps immigrants complete the application for citizenship at CIMA, the Center for Immigrant Advancement.


The only student enrolled from Cambodia at The English Center

February, 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Ratha Dem is the only student enrolled at The English Center from Cambodia. He won the U.S. immigration lottery in 2011 while enrolled at a university in Cambodia. With the financial help of his parents and an older brother and sister, when he graduated with a degree in marketing in 2014, he immigrated to New York City. The weather was cold, and he decided to move to Florida, where the climate is similar to that in Cambodia. He inquired about a ending English classes at a local private university, but it was too expensive. An employee there told him about The English Center. When he searched on-line, he found that the school had good reviews and a reasonable price. In January he began to study English in Ms. Susana Ricondo’s class. He has plans to start an import business between the U.S. and Cambodia and send money to his family.


Student Success Story

January 2018| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Through different paths, both students entered the same road to receiving State of Florida certification in Nails and Facials. Tatiana Vargas came to the U.S. from Nicaragua and a ended Miami High. When she was 15 years old, she had a baby and dropped out of school to work and take care of her baby. For the past 20 years she was employed in a jewelry store. The store went out of business. A person in a beauty supply shop told her about TEC. She received financial aid from FAFSA. The baby is now 23 years old, and she and her husband have an 18 year old, a 14 year old, and a 9 year old. She graduated from the Nails and Facials program in December. Because she lost her job she says, “I don’t want to work for anyone. I want to have my own place, my own me, and do everything by myself.”
Luisa Arocha came to Miami from Cuba in 2016 to join her three children and grandchildren. She doesn’t speak English, which made it difficult for her to get a job. In Cuba she enjoyed polishing the nails of her family. She decided that it would be easier to study Nails and Facials than to study English, and a job was possible without speaking English. In December she graduated from Ms. Martinez’s class and plans to find work and then study English.

Student Success Story

December 2017 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Three different students from three different countries have three different stories, but have one thing in common.

Milton Canton, from Port Au Prince, Haiti came to the United States when he was five years old. In 2015 he graduated from Miami Central H.S. and then earned an Associate of Arts degree at Florida Atlantic University where he majored in computer science. He wanted a program heavily focused on technology and enrolled at TEC.

Guido Reyes came from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. For more than 10 years his girlfriend, who lived in Miami, went to visit him at least once a year. In 2016 they married, and he came to Miami. He enrolled at TEC to train for employment.

Antonio Valdez from Havana, Cuba entered Miami on a visitor’s visa in April 2015 and then requested asylum. He started ESOL classes near where he lived in Hialeah and heard about the SAVES program here at TEC. He had applied for jobs, but found his previous experience was not sufficient to land a job.

What do all three students have in common? It’s the need for practical training to get a good job with a decent salary. This common factor resulted in their enrolling in Mr. Noel Paz, Jr.’s Network Systems Administration class where they are all happy and looking forward to a new career.


Student Success Story

November 2017| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Leida Soto arrived in Miami from Cuba two years ago and began ESOL classes at TEC based on a friend’s recommendation. She learned about the center’s Early Childhood Education Program and
decided to register immediately. Leida has successfully graduated and received her Early Childhood Professional Certification.

While Leida was studying, her teacher Ms. Vera Lamar invited representatives from the Refugee Child Care Microenterprise Development Program to the school. This program offers women who love to work with children the opportunity to own their own child care center.

Based on her dedication and hardwork, Leida has made her dream come true. She received her Department of Children and Family state license in October to operate her own business. In December she will obtain her Director’ Credential. This progress is quite an accomplishment for someone who only arrived in the U.S. two years ago.

Leida believes her American Dream came true thanks to the support, encouragement, and practical advice she received at TEC. Congratulations to her as she embarks on a new career and life adventure.


South Florida’s Job Growth As Of August 2017

October 2017| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

South Florida’s job growth leads the state. The Miami, Miami Beach, and Kendall metropolitan areas have the highest annual job growth compared to all other regions in the state in the fields of trade, transportation, and utilities.

The unemployment rate in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties was 4.8% in August 2017. That rate was 0.9% lower than the 5.7% unemployment rate one year ago. Job growth increased by 19,300 people. The number of unemployed individuals decreased by 10,045. The largest industrial growth area with an increase of 7,300 jobs was leisure and hospitality. The downturn in unemployment and the increase in jobs is a good sign for students studying in a career/technical education program at The English Center who will soon be seeking employment.

The downturn in unemployment and the increase in jobs is a good sign for students studying in a career/technical education program at The English Center who will soon be seeking employment.


Career/Technical Education (CTE)

September 2017| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

Enrolling in a career/technical education program is a wise choice. CTE programs offer the opportunity to learn in a career-focused environment with hands-on learning and industry professionals teaching. The programs offered at The English Center are centered around the demands of the economy. The programs match what employers are looking for, making employment a greater possibility. CTE teachers and a career placement specialist work on assisting students with job placement. CTE students can send an email to TEC’s career specialist, Ms. Marcela Arias, www.marcelaa@dadeschools.net and ask for help finding a job. Students can make an appointment in the library for free assistance writing a resume.


2017 Constitution and Citizenship Day at The English Center

September 17, 2017| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

We thank Mr. Jonathan Gonzalez and the students from his Citizenship classes for their help with our Constitution and Citizenship Day 2017 decorations and activities at The English Center. The purpose of Constitution and Citizenship Day, which was officially established in 2004, is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens.


Job Fair at The English Center Offers Employment Possibilities

January 22, 2017| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

On Thursday, June 22, a Job Fair was held on The English Center campus. The event offered all students access to a variety of business and industry resources for employment in various fields. Present at the Job Fair were representatives from several organizations who were able answer students’ questions and provide them with information regarding employment opportunities.

Success Pathways Students Organize Thanksgiving Food Drive

December 22, 2016 | BY TELEMUNDO 51

For the past several weeks, the students in our Success Pathways program have been collecting and organizing a large assortment of grocery items in order to provide needy families with Thanksgiving food baskets. All of the items collected during the food drive were generously donated by the students, faculty, and staff from The English Center. This week our Success Pathways students prepared and delivered the baskets which contained all of the items needed for a complete Thanksgiving dinner to over 50 families.

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Mr. Jose Montes: Principal Today at The English Center

December 8, 2016 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

On Thursday, December 8th we were honored to have Mr. Jose Montes serve as Principal Today at The English Center. Among the many activities of his busy day as “Principal” were visiting classes, speaking with our students, meeting with our faculty and staff, and collaborating with our school’s Principal, Ms. Yamila Carballo on upcoming school events.


Success Pathways Students Volunteer at Kensington Park Elementary’s Fall Festival

October 27-28, 2016| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

On Thursday and Friday, October 27th and 28th, the students in our Success Pathways program served as volunteers at Kensington Park Elementary School’s annual Fall Festival. These English Center students eagerly assisted with several activities in the preparation of the festival which included making and painting many of the event’s decorations. They also wore a variety of costumes in order to participate as the characters which inhabited the festival’s haunted house.


2016 Constitution and Citizenship Day at The English Center

September 17, 2016| BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

We thank Mr. Jonathan Gonzalez and the students from his Citizenship classes for their help with our Constitution and Citizenship Day 2016 decorations and activities at The English Center. The purpose of Constitution and Citizenship Day, which was officially established in 2004, is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens.


The English Center Proudly Recognizes our Career/Technical Program Completers at Winter Trimester Graduation Ceremony

April 19, 2016 | BY THE ENGLISH CENTER

On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, our Winter Trimester graduation ceremony was held in order to honor the achievements of our Career/Technical program students who completed their program of study.

Schools of Miami-Dade Preparing for the Arrival of Cuban Children

January 13, 2016| BY LISETT MARI | TELEMUNDO 51

The Miami-Dade School Board approved a resolution requesting assistance from the federal government in the face of the imminent arrival of Cuban immigrants from Costa Rica.

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Maria Jose Lainez, 18, right, receives a certificate for completing the Success Pathways program, run by Miami-Dade Public Schools. Yamila Carballo, principal of The English Center, gives Lainez her accolade.
Maria Jose Lainez, 18, right, receives a certificate for completing the Success Pathways program, run by Miami-Dade Public Schools. Yamila Carballo, principal of The English Center, gives Lainez her accolade. 
Walter Michot wmichot@miamiherald.com

Teens Find a New Path to a High School Education

December 16, 2015| BY DEBORA LIMA | THE MIAMI HERALD

Maria Jose Lainez woke up Tuesday morning and instead of her usual jeans and sneakers, she opted for a black knee-length dress and nude, patent-leather pumps.

By 10:30 a.m., she strode across an auditorium stage as one of 45 graduates from Success Pathways, a program that serves teens who have been turned away from local high schools due to their age or lack of proficiency in English. Through Pathways, the teens prepare for the General Education Development exam — the first step toward higher education.

When Lainez was turned away from Coral Gables High School as an 18-year-old equipped with little more than basic English under her belt, Success Pathways was the solution. There, students are taught English, math, science and social studies to satisfy the requirements of the GED, a four-part test.

Pathways, a program of Miami-Dade Schools, works with about 100 students per semester in one of three centers: The English Center, Coral Gables; Miami Jackson High School, Allapattah; and Miami Springs High School. Most of the students are immigrants who have not taken the required curriculum that would enable them to pass Florida’s standardized tests, and they often struggle with English. As such, they cannot enroll in local high schools.

“They’re being backed into a wall, and we are that option for children and parents who have run out of options,” Principal Yamila Carballo said.

The program runs during daytime hours, unlike most alternative education programs, which offer nighttime classes. This, Carballo said, helps students feel they’re on the same schedule as other students.

Graduates also have the opportunity to receive technical and vocational training in areas like cosmetology and multimedia design at The English Center upon completion of the program. Most do, said Gemma Carrillo, an educational specialist with Miami- Dade Schools.

The average Pathways participant juggles school with a full-time job, as well as home responsibilities like housekeeping or childcare, program administrators said.

Astrid Giron, a 19-year-old Pathways graduate, regularly split her time between classes at The English Center and Antigua, a Guatemalan restaurant in West Flagler where she works full time as a waitress. Managing her time is no easy task, but “where there is a will, there is a way,” she said.

Lainez, 18, said Pathways taught her time-management skills and responsibility, as well as a greater appreciation for life’s opportunities. She moved to Miami from Honduras six months ago.

“It’s an institution that opened many doors for me, to knowledge and other things,” she said.

Lainez intends to go to college and study psychology. Giron plans to study criminal justice.

“Many of them come with no expectation of being able to attend college,” said Lourdes Arriete, one of Pathway’s eight full-time teachers. “ We open their eyes to the possibilities”

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As Parents Settle into a New Life, 4-year-old Waits For Santa Claus

December 11, 2015| BY ARTURO ARIAS-POLO | THE MIAMI HERALD

When the students in the day-care facility at The English Center — an adult education facility run by Miami-Dade County Public Schools in southeastern Miami — clipped the images of gifts they want for Christmas and glued them to their letters to Santa Claus, 4-year-old Robert Docina chose a tricycle, a Playskool Hero, a mini racetrack, Plasticine, an Iron Man doll and a tablet.

His list carries a price tag of about $230. But Robert did not know that his family is not likely to be able to meet his wishes because they already makes enormous sacrifices just to pay the $950 monthly rent in their small Little Havana apartment.

His mother, Ismary Rey, has not been able to find a job. And the salary of his father, Robert, a mechanic who works in Hialeah, is barely enough to meet the basic needs of the family, which includes a daughter in high school.

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