Monday, November 10, 2014

Planning Ahead

 Meet "Russell."  Russell is now a fourth-grader in our program and speaks Cantonese better than anyone else in the program, including staff.  This makes Russell very useful to us, as we have several families with parents who speak only Cantonese or mostly Cantonese with very limited English.  As he is also a very helpful child, he is always willing to jump in and translate when necessary.  He has helped me explain to one parent that our program is full, to another that we had food she could take home, and I stationed him at our "Adopt A Family" table to explain how the program works and how people could sign up for their kids to get presents at Christmas time.One of the mothers who speaks mostly Cantonese told me "His Chinese very good!"  Of course, his favorite thing to translate is when he gets to tell on his little sister, but that's just human nature.

Not too long ago, Russell asked if he could talk to me.  He seemed a little nervous and said he had something important to ask me. He continued, "Bronwyn, I know this is a long time from now, but when I'm in high school... do you think you would maybe hire me?"

It was asked seriously so I responded in kind.  I said, "Well, Russell, you know, I have to interview applicants and you'd have to fill out an application.  But the things I look for are responsibility and hard work and working well with people, so I think you'd have a good chance.  And you already translate for me, so that's been really helpful.  I can't promise you anything, but I think you seem like you'd be a great employee."

He looked incredibly relieved and said he'd apply when he was in ninth grade.  I'd love to have him as an employee.

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