Certified Speaker: H-D senior earns school’s first Seal of Biliteracy

GONZALEZ

Hampton-Dumont-CAL senior Marie Gonzalez vividly remembers the moment she made it her goal to be bilingual.

As a 10-year-old student new to Hampton from her native Guatemala, Gonzalez said she knew no English but received help from fellow students who knew both English and Spanish. Through their help, she was able to navigate her new environment, which in turn inspired her to do the same when she got older.

“Once I learned English, I told myself I was going to help people,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do that since the beginning. I knew I wanted to help people that come here because I know how it feels to be nervous the first day of school in a different country and not knowing anyone.

“Knowing that someone is from the same country or talks the same language is so nice that first day of school,” she added.

While Gonzalez has spoken Spanish her whole life, speaking English was a process that came with time. She said the majority of her English learning came through school while the rest she picked up on her own.

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