DSC_9445Through the Carlos Rosario School registration process, Aqueline an ESL student from Brazil, learned an important lesson. Aqueline moved to the U.S. with her husband in November 2014. She soon realized that she didn’t have connections in the U.S. and in order to relate to others she needed to learn English. “I knew I needed English to move on; to be somebody,” she said. She decided to enroll in English classes at Carlos Rosario in the fall of 2015.

When Aqueline came to enroll though, she couldn’t prove she lived in Washington, D.C. because she didn’t have documents in her own name. Bills, bank account, ID, these were all in her husband’s name. Aqueline said when she realized this, she felt like nobody. She soon went to get a D.C. ID. “When I got my ID, I got so big. Now I have the power to say to my husband, you go and I’ll stay to finish what I started. I’m going to learn English.”

Since last spring, Aqueline has been using her power to help fellow D.C. residents register to vote. She started working at the DC Board of Elections, where she is a Bilingual Ward Coordinator.

Aqueline has big dreams for the future. She already has a Bachelor’s Degree in Letras Vernáculas from Brazil. And she hopes to go back to college here in the U.S. to earn a Master’s Degree in Business.