American dreams start with English

Nirva Sajous and Sara Joint attended the graduation ceremony at Boston Missionary Baptist Church in Roxbury yesterday. (Wendy Maeda/ Globe Staff)

…Yesterday in the basement auditorium of Boston Missionary Baptist Church in Roxbury,… teachers conferred certificates on graduates, the first class to complete the program. Most had fit classes into schedules already packed with jobs, vocational training, or taking care of their children.

Some are graduating to more advanced English classes next year. Others are ready for nursing courses. A few, like Estilet, are planning for college.

For many, it was a small but significant triumph: About 60 percent were survivors of the earthquake that ravaged Haiti last year.

“I’m not nervous when I speak on the phone any more, because my English is good,’’ Patrips Fleurival told his fellow graduates at the simple ceremony.

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