OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Hundreds of students enroll each semester at the Latino Center of the Midlands. A recent grant received from Tyson Foods will be used for education classes, as they continue working to enhance the quality of life of those in the Latino community.
"After they finish their three levels of English or GED, we try to help them out and go to community college, to continue a career and keep growing," said Veronica Padilla, team manager of adult basic education at the Latino Center of the Midlands.
Keeping classes affordable is a key ingredient in the center's ability to last for so long as they celebrate 50 years.
"Classes are cheap, not like other places where they have to pay more. We help with rental assistance too," said Ruth Gonzales, a citizenship teacher at the Latino Center of the Midlands.
"When you are a teacher it works both ways, I am learning from them and also you help them learn. That is the best part of being here at the Latino Center, I get to help them out and direct their future," continues Padilla.
Padilla says more than 50% of the Latino population in Omaha does not have their GED.
And that the center is more than a place for learning, it is a place where people build confidence and start on a path for success.
Padilla adds, "They are hard-working, they are responsible, I love that about the people that are here with us."
"I love the people. They are always trying to learn," adds Gonzales.
Padilla adds that only 13% of people in Omaha speak Spanish. Classes are by semester and they have morning, afternoon, and evening classes
Classes are open to those 18 - 60 years of age. Contact the Latino Center at www.latinocenter.org or (402) 733-2720