By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief
By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief
A typical schedule for a student at Riverside City College can be as simple as attending classes, participating in extracurricular activities and for some, holding a part-time job, but for one RCC student, the schedule is complex.
Belinda Eisert, an English as a Second Language student at RCC, is one student with a hectic schedule. An average day for Eisert consists of juggling the demands of six children, a marriage, a full-time job and, on top of everything else, taking 12 units this semester to learn English.
Eisert is in her second semester at RCC and is enrolled in four ESL classes this semester as she works toward mastering English in hopes of one day becoming an interpreter.
The idea to learn English began four years ago for Eisert when she moved to the United States from Peru, following a divorce from her previous husband.
She made the bold decision with the intention of offering her six children a better life.
“I thought ‘if you want a better life for your kids, you have to set an example,'” she said.
Eisert traveled multiple times between Peru and the U.S. working to provide for her children before making the ultimate decision to permanently relocate.
“(The change) was very hard because I came here before my kids,” she said. “I was without my kids for three years.”
The motivation to learn English came from the difficulties she faced in holding a job as a nurse assistant. Eisert needed a license to continue working as an assistant, but the classes to earn such a license were only offered in English.
Eisert was only allowed to work up to three months without the license before she was let go and sent off to find another nurse assistant position.
She began her quest to learn English by attending classes in adult school, where she felt she was making little progress.
“I studied (at the adult school for) only 10 months,” she said. “I didn’t feel comfortable with my English because I didn’t understand almost anything at work.”
When Eisert decided to make a change for a better opportunity for the quality of education by enrolling at RCC, the reaction from her friends was not encouraging.
“Some friends told me ‘don’t do that because you don’t speak any English (and) you will get frustrated then you will throw in the towel,'” she said.
Despite the concerns of her friends, Eisert followed through with the change and she has not looked back.
“I didn’t know if it was good or not but I did it,” she said. “I think it would have been better if I had come straight here, because the education here is better.”
Eisert has been pleased with the quality of education RCC has given her that she has made the steps to enroll her oldest daughter for the fall semester.
Her daughter, Andrea Eisert, a senior at Arlington High School, is looking to become a doctor once she begins her higher education at RCC.
Belinda said she feared her children would not be able to achieve their goals because they are still struggling with English.
“They felt they were prisoners because they didn’t have friends who spoke Spanish,” she said. “It’s been a year and a half now so they feel better because they now have friends.”
Belinda said her children have learned a valuable lesson since making the move to the U.S.
“They know that the life in the United States isn’t easy at all but we have a lot of opportunities that we didn’t have in Peru,” she said. “You can work, you can study and you can have a good life, but you have to be responsible.”