Success Story: Denise & Lazare

Our May Success Story (also featured in our e-mail newsletter) celebrates MCL’s 2022 Outstanding Adult Learner, Lazare, and his workplace literacy teacher, Denise Hoyle.

Denise Lazare square

Lazare came to Brunswick with his family a little more than a year ago, and soon after began working at Wild Oats Bakery & Café. There, he was paired with Denise, who is one of the volunteer instructors for our Workplace Literacy partnership with Wild Oats. They have been working together, both one-on-one and with other employees at Wild Oats, since July of last year. “I have worked with many English language learners through the years, but Lazare has truly been one of my most outstanding students,” said Denise. “He’s made tremendous progress in the Workplace English program.”

Working with Denise on-site at Wild Oats, Lazare’s English ability – a low intermediate level when he arrived – has improved significantly, and so has his confidence. He’s been promoted twice in the past year, and is now a supervisor in Wild Oats’ savory foods division. When Lazare and Denise spoke to the audience at MCL’s recent Author-to-Author fundraiser, he told them: “When I came here I did not like to speak in English. But today, I could speak to you in English for 45 minutes!”

Outside of work, Lazare helps translate for family members and some of his co-workers. “I find myself at home here in Maine now,” said Lazare. “I thought it might be hard to meet people to help me, but everyone is very helpful and friendly and I am not lonely here. I like learning English so much.”

Congratulations to Lazare as our Outstanding Adult Learner of 2022 and to Denise for her dedicated teaching with Lazare and other learners in our Workplace Literacy program to help them improve their English and succeed in their jobs. Keep following us for more success stories from our tutors throughout the year!