Student Success Stories - Meet Alexandra

For noble souls, valor does not depend upon age. Our Advanced English student Alexandra is a great example! At only 19-years-old, Alexandra Olivas became a manager at Panera Bread-George Washington University. Listening to Alexandra talk about her life, it is impossible not to feel inspired by her enthusiasm and her work ethic. And most importantly don’t let her youth deceive you!

From Nicaragua, Alexandra moved to Washington, D.C. in May 2017. A few months after, in August, she enrolled at the Carlos Rosario School’s ESL class and started in level 2. Two months later, Alexandra was hired for her first job in the U.S. at Panera Bread in Columbia Heights.

Alexandra started working as a prep cook, dishwasher and sandwich builder. As if it was only yesterday, with a smile at the corner of the lips, Alexandra remembered that she only knew two words in English: Egg and lettuce. Her journey has not been easy. Amid mockery from some colleagues, Alexandra believed in herself and persevered.

When Panera Bread opened a new location at the George Washington University, Alexandra worked as Kitchen Controller for 6 months. Meanwhile, she struggled with her English. “I was saying ‘ok’ about everything people said to me before I realized that I hadn’t understood at all,” Alexandra said. This did not discourage her boss, who, despite bad feedback about Alexandra, always wanted to propel her forward.

She became Cashier and Schedule Maker. Alexandra likes her job, and takes joy in satisfying customers. Finally she started getting good customer feedback. Not only is Alexandra a fast learner, but she also has a contagious smile and she was always helpful with customers. Afterwards, Alexandra’s boss promoted her as a Manager.

Alexandra speaks passionately about her goal to go to a University and become an ambassador here in the US. This semester she is applying for the Carlos Rosario School Scholarship program. Alexandra graduated from our Small Business program. Additionally, she attended the School’s Math for life class and a personal finance class at the University of District of Columbia (UDC).

Alexandra lives with her sister and mother. She is very proud of her mother, a current Carlos Rosario School ESL student in level 6. Alexandra mother’s dedication and loyalty has certainly influenced her daughter, who must certainly be a great source of pride for the family! She also thanks the School. “I want to thank amazing Carlos Rosario teachers and staff who everyday are working hard and fighting for the future of the students,” Alexandra said.

She advises: “I always said I know it’s hard but I am going to do it better than yesterday.” Sounds like good advice coming from someone who has accomplished so much since moving to her new country!