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Success Story: Carlos

It is helpful to hear how other people with health problems or personal problems made decisions about their careers. Read and hear about a man who has made a lot of progress and continues to make his life better.

Listen to Carlos' Success Story

Read Carlos' Success Story

Hello. My name is Carlos. I came to the United States about 10 years ago because I couldn't get a job in my country. I wanted to help my mother and my younger brothers and sisters.

I didn't speak any English when I got here, but I was able to find a job with a roofing company. Since most of the crew members spoke Spanish, I was able to talk to them and learn how to do my work. The guys were nice, and I liked working with them. Unfortunately, I had trouble working on roofs in the hot sun. I have diabetes, and I was often dizzy, and I couldn't drink enough water. I was sending money home, but I didn't know how long I could keep it up.

I realized that I would have to learn English if I wanted a different job. I enrolled in school at the adult education center. It was hard going to school at night after a long day of working, but I kept at it. My English improved quickly.

After six months, I got a job as a dishwasher at a popular local restaurant. It was a much better working environment for me. I worked in the afternoon and evening, so I could go to school during the day. My English speaking kept improving, but my writing still wasn't good.

After a year on the job, I got promoted to serving behind the counter. It's great! I get to talk to customers and help them. I like the people I work with too. Since I was doing so well, I applied to be a supervisor. Then I found out that I couldn't go any higher in my job without a high school diploma. The manager was sorry, but it was a rule.

Now I am studying to get my GED. I have passed two tests and still have three to go. I am worried about the writing test because that is still hard for me. The GED teachers are helpful, and they tell me that I will pass if I keep on trying.

Once I finish my GED, I can apply again to be a supervisor at my job. I'm sure I will get it. Then I will go to community college. I think I want to be a chef and have my own restaurant. I know I have the skills to make customers happy. I also need to learn about running a business. I know that I can do it because I have done so much already.