IMG_9427_reducedJulio Rodriguez, a Carlos Rosario School graduate, keeps himself busy in the community. He is an active leader, providing workshops on substance abuse, facilitating classes about family relations, and serving as vice president of the literacy organization CENAES.

In these positions, he is now helping to provide some of the services that he needed and obtained when he first arrived to DC from Uruguay in 2002.

“When I got here I was lost, I didn’t know where to go,” Julio said. “I started walking and getting to know service providers so that they would guide me. It was from there that I could start getting along.”

One of the places he found was the Carlos Rosario School, where he took a year of English classes. Armed with a business administration degree from his home country, doors started opening for him in the health and education sectors as soon as his English improved.

“You have to learn English in order to function in American society. It opens more doors. ESL is an entrance gate to employment possibilities in this country,” he explained.

Now he does all he can to provide the same kind of opportunities to people who are now in a similar position as he used to be. He has kept close ties with the Carlos Rosario School: he hired four students as childcare providers at a local organization and plans to continue working with the school and other service providers.

“I want to continue supporting society, maintaining a leadership position in our community. We need to continue educating people in our community so they can move forward in this country,” he said.