Directions: Read along with the audio to improve your reading and listening comprehension.
Pedro’s Professional Success in the USA: Creative Stories #10
By Maestro Sersea
Once upon a time, there was a hard-working young man named Pedro from Peru. Pedro wanted to move to the United States to have a better life and be successful in the United States of America. Pedro’s dream came true when he applied for the Green Card Lottery and won it. Pedro said goodbyes to his parents and friends in Peru and left for Southern California, USA.
Pedro has been planning for this moment for over five years. He had worked overtime at a factory in Lima, Peru, to save money and prepare for the move to the United States. He knew life was expensive in California and that he needed to find an inexpensive apartment, get a job, learn more English, and figure out his long-term career plans. He didn’t want to work in a factory for all his life, as he had done in Lima, Peru.
Pedro heard that Fullerton, in Orange County, California had jobs available as well as a community college and university, so he went there. When he arrived, Pedro took some time to explore Fullerton. He went to the beach, rode a bicycle, explored downtown Fullerton, and took in the sights and sounds of different areas of Orange County, California. He found an inexpensive apartment, worked at a restaurant, and sent some money to his parents every month but he found it difficult to save money for the future.
Pedro was excited about starting a new life in the United States. He felt lucky that he could win the Green Card Lottery, and was sure that he would be successful. Still, he knew that simply working at a restaurant to pay the bills wasn’t enough. He wanted more. He wanted career success and financial independence. He made a list of what he wanted to achieve and what he needed to do to get there.
Becoming more fluent in English was the first thing Pedro needed to become more successful and earn more money. He was working minimum wage at a Mexican restaurant as a dishwasher because he didn’t understand or speak English very well and couldn’t be a waiter, a cook, or a bartender, which paid much better because the restaurant manager knew Pedro wasn’t able to communicate well with customers. So, Pedro went to Fullerton College to see if he could find a free English as a Second Language class. He was directed by a counselor to Wilshire Center, part of North Orange Community Education, where he was greeted by Violeta, who helped him register for a free English as a Second Language class. She told him about Maestro Sersea, a passionate teacher, who could help him learn English. He used to work in the English as a Second Language Center there for years but was now teaching English online via the Virtual English as a Second Language Learning Center on Saturdays from 8 am to 4 pm. Pedro was happy because he didn’t work on Saturday mornings and afternoons. He had time to learn English and continue to go to work.
Pedro started working with Maestro Sersea who taught him lessons in American English speaking, listening, reading, and writing. At first, it was hard for Pedro to understand the directions, but with time, as he learned more vocabulary, he understood English much better. Pedro always volunteered to answer questions during his online synchronous Zoom class. Pedro collaborated well with his colleagues online and did well in dialogues and conversation exercises. Soon, he was able to communicate well with his colleagues during class discussions. He was proud of himself for improving his English skills. He liked working with his colleagues online because they were fun and interesting people who encouraged him to study English and work hard.
Maestro Sersea told Pedro to continue working on his English so that he could enroll in an Electrician’s Assistant certificate program at the Anaheim Campus of North Orange Community College District’s North Orange Continuing Education. The program was free, and some of Maestro Sersea’s students from the past graduated from the program and got good-paying jobs. When he heard this, Pedro started thinking. He had always wanted to be an electrician, and now he could train and perhaps start his own business in the United States as an electrical contractor.
Pedro was determined to learn English and be a success. He read books and watched movies about becoming a professional electrician. He listened to recordings of real electricians talking, to listen to what they did and how they communicated. He watched YouTube videos and learned from them. His parents encouraged him to keep studying English because they wanted him to have a good career and they wanted him to be able to communicate with his new American friends. They thought being fluent in English was an important skill for a Peruvian immigrant.
Once Pedro became more fluent in English reading and writing, he started taking classes at Anaheim Campus to complete the requirements to receive a certificate as an Electrician’s Assistant. When he graduated from the program, he started working as an apprentice in a small company. Pedro felt proud that he was successful and doing well in life. He liked working on a construction site with his fellow apprentices and learning about electricity. He felt happy when he was able to earn more money and provide for his family financially. But, in his heart, he knew this was just the beginning. He needed the experience and knowledge to become an Electrician, so he continued training and working hard.
After years of training and honing his professional skills, Pedro took the electrical contractor’s license exam, passing it with flying colors. He was happy and returned to the Mexican restaurant where he first worked as a dishwasher to celebrate. The manager and staff at the restaurant recognized him and were amazed to hear how good his English was and that he was now an electrical contractor. He celebrated with them that night and felt proud of his accomplishments in the United States.
The next step for Pedro was to start an official business. He went to city hall in Santa Ana and applied for a business license. There was a lot of paperwork and documentation he needed to fill out, but now that his English was strong, it wasn’t a problem for him. Next, Pedro bought a new work van and wrapped it with his new business logo and telephone number. He bought lots of tools and materials and filled the van to be ready for customers. Finally, Pedro advertised his business on Google, in the newspaper, and in flyers to be mailed throughout Orange County. He also hired a web designer to build a business website for him. All of this cost Pedro all his savings, but it was worth the investment for him to follow his dreams and have his own business.
For the next week, Pedro patiently waited by the phone, waiting for customers to call. He knew that he was ready to start his business. He had the knowledge, experience, training, tools, and materials to do anything that would be asked of him. One by one, customers started calling and scheduling appointments. Pedro got calls from homeowners and business owners, and soon his business picked up and was successful. Within a year he was so busy, that he hired two more electricians to help him with his many customers.
Now that he was a successful business owner, Pedro counted his blessings and was grateful for all the opportunities he was given to be successful in the United States of America. He went back to Wilshire Center with a bouquet of flowers and thanked Violeta for helping him start learning English. He met with Maestro Sersea, his English teacher, at a fancy restaurant for lunch, shared his accomplishments, and thanked him for helping him become fluent in English. He regularly called and thanked his parents for raising him, and sent them lots of money every month to help them in their retirement.
Pedro reached his American dream through dedication, focus, hard work, and determination. When he studied English, he did his best to learn and become fluent. When he studied to be an electrician, he put his whole being into his training by working hard and spending his free time researching and learning more about the profession. As a business owner, he treated his customers with respect and never overcharged them for his quality electrical work. This brought him satisfaction and fame for being an honest electrician. Pedro earned his success and was grateful to be in a country that allowed him to reach his dreams.
- What is this story about? ____________________________________________________
- Who helped Pedro learn English? ____________________________________________________
- Where is Pedro from? ____________________________________________________
- Where did Pedro learn English? ____________________________________________________
- Where did Pedro get his career training? ____________________________________________________
- What is Pedro’s career? ____________________________________________________
- What is Pedro’s American Dream? ____________________________________________________
- How did Pedro achieve his American Dream?