HI! My name is Melissa La Bianca and here\'s my story.
studied Spanish for 7 whole years before deciding to study abroad in
Madrid. Sounds like that would be enough, right? I certainly thought so.
I was wrong.
My first morning there, I went to a
cafe for some breakfast. I ordered my coffee and a croissant. I thought
I was doing pretty OK for myself... that is until the gentleman at the
counter asked me something about my order. I had no idea what he said. I tried to fight back my tears as I quickly realized it was going to be a long, hungry year for me.
Before leaving for Spain, I aced nearly every exam I took, conjugated verbs in my sleep and could read and write in Spanish. That was just fine and dandy for my degree, but what good would that do me if I couldn\'t even hold a small conversation about what type of milk I wanted in my coffee?
For about 5 minutes I thought about just
heading back to the airport and going home. It wouldn\'t be that big of a deal since I hadn\'t even unpacked
yet. Needless to say, that didn\'t happen. I stuck it out and learned so
much about language, and so much about myself.
experience confirmed to me that I should be teaching language. I saw
firsthand the importance of knowing more than one language and the
wonderful impact that communication has. It taught me patience and
helped me truly understand the obstacles of learning a language and
living in a foreign land. It really motivated to be a teacher and give
my students something I never learned in the classroom... the art of
Since that time, I have been
working on my ideas and teaching methods, determined to provide better
quality language classes. I want to equip my students to be able to
converse in all types of situations, not only coffee shops. I plan on setting my school apart from other schools by offering small class sizes, affordable prices and one-on-one attention that everybody learning a language deserves.
Since 1998, I\'ve taught in quite a few different settings to get an idea for what to do right, and how to avoid what other schools are doing wrong. I have experience teaching in private, public, low-income and high-income areas, and my students range from age 4 to great-grandparents.
At this point in my life, I feel like I am truly ready to make this dream a reality.
Less about me, more about the school.
It will be called
the LaBianca Learning Center, and my plan is to teach ESOL (English for
Speakers of Other Languages,) After-school Spanish Classes, ABE (Adult
Basic Education) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language.) Once the school grows in size, I\'d like to add more classes and hire other teachers to teach a variety of languages as well.
I have chosen to open my school in Quincy Center. Why Quincy, you ask? According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, Quincy boasts over 92,000 residents, making it the 8th largest city in Massachusetts, with 31% of those residents who speak another language at home. My competition is currently scarce, and the rent is decently priced. There is ample parking, in addition to being right on the red line as well as the commuter rail and 14 different bus routes. It\'s easily accessible, and surrounded by several towns that also don\'t offer similar classes.
In addition to all of the reasons Quincy could use a learning center like mine right now, it is also important to consider the longevity of a project like this. The fact that the city of Quincy has already begun working on their plans for a complete rebuild of the Downtown Quincy area is really exciting. This plan that will cost over $1 billion, will bring in new businesses, up to 1,400 new housing units, as well as new parks. Check out some of these links to see for yourself:
So here we are, just you and me. I\'m willing to work hard. I\'ve done my homework. I have a place I\'d like to start. I\'ve been saving myself, but I need your help. Pretty please donate with an open heart and an open wallet to a very good cause. Any amount would be be greatly appreciated.
To show my gratitude, once I open the school,
those people who donated (regardless of the amount) will have an entire
wall dedicated to them, as I will be writing the name of every donor on
one wall in my school. Your donation will be used for good, and your name will live on as long as the school stands. That is something you should be proud of.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Lots of love,
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