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El Centro of Henderson County (Latino Advocacy Center) Education Department

Listing Last Update: February 9, 2021

Location

508 N GROVE ST
HENDERSONVILLE, NC 28792
www.elcentrolac.org/

Primary Contact

Education Department

(828) 290-7134 Ext:5

lisa@elcentrolac.org

Educational services

  • To read and write better
  • To help my child learn
  • To study for my high school equivalency exam
  • To learn English
  • To improve my math skills
  • To improve my technology skills
  • To become a U.S. citizen

Instruction Type

  • Classroom
  • Computer

Program Overview

El Centro of Henderson County is a multifaceted community center for the Latinx community in the area surrounding Hendersonville, NC. We have served our community for the last 20 years and are always here to help with any of our three departments' services. The three departments are Advocacy, Mental Health, and Education. We offer translation/ notarization of important documents, community event planning, governmental relations/ petitioning, referrals, and case management through our Advocacy department. We offer free individual, couples, and family counseling through our Mental Health department, and we offer High School Equivalency Preparation Classes, K-12 Tutoring for children, Plumbing Classes, Electrician Classes, English Classes, Spanish Classes, Citizenship Exam Classes, Summer Camp for children, Primary school equivalent classes, Computer Classes, and College Counseling through our education department depending on student interest and availability of volunteer teachers.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to create a more inclusive community for Latinos by providing unique services, developing grassroots leaders, and working together to access community resources.

Hours of operation: Monday - Thursday 9am-4pm

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Below are some examples of students who have participated in the center's adult education program. They highlight common barriers and cultural stigmas to education and what the opportunity to continue to learn can mean to individual and a community.

Here is Pedro's Story:
"I am from Mexico City, and I never had the opportunity to finish elementary school. I always had the dream to be someone in life, study architecture or have a professional career. My parents were humble people, there were times when we didn't have enough to eat and of course if we didn't have food to eat, we had even less to go to school.

I came to this country 15 years ago. Today, I am 55 years old and my dream to go back to school hasn't changed. When I heard El Centro had computer classes, I didn't think twice about registering for the class. Every day I called to see if they had space for me. Finally, I started class and the first day, I have to confess that I didn't even want to touch the computer. I was scared I would break it. My children laughed at me when I told them I was taking computer classes. They told me, "but dad you are now too old to for that". At the beginning I believed them but now I can send my children email messages and I feel like I have gained a little of their respect.

To have the opportunity to continue my studies not only has made me feel different, more useful but also I have demonstrated to my children that it is never too late to learn something new. Now I can say to my children, "if I can do it so can you, go to the University and be someone in this life."



Maria, 28 years old, born in Veracruz, Mexico, and lost her mother at an early age. She stayed in Veracruz, her father's hometown.
"My father always told us that women ought not to attend school, due to the fact that someday they would marry and then have no use for education. Actually, the school was very close to the house, so close that I used to watch the other kids going and coming, with their book satchels in hand – while I was not allowed to go. Once, when I did sneak out of the house to go to the school, my father beat me and said I was never to try that again. Eventually, I got married and came to the United States, ten years ago, where I now live and have three children."
Maria is now enrolled in an English class, and is on a waiting list for more literacy training. "I feel very ashamed whenever they ask me to read or write anything in class, but I am determined to keep trying for the sake of my children."

Gloria, originally from Hidalgo, Mexico, has lived in the United States since she was five. She took the ten-week Internet class at LAC with the idea of learning the basics of computers, for her own good as well as for her young daughter. The class is designed for mothers who have young children, so Gloria felt very happy knowing that LAC provided childcare for her three-year old while she herself studied. She never imagined that taking a course of this type would have helped her so much in her small business: she sells products through a catalog, a business that necessitates placing orders over the phone. "Before I learned to use the internet, I used to have to spend a lot of time doing business over the phone," she says, "but now I feel confident sitting down at the computer where I can see the products I need, look them over, and order them easily."

Program Status:
Active