Centro San Juan Diego Monthly Newsletter March 2020
ADVANCING OUR MISSION, STAYING AT HOME
Last month, I invited you all to reflect and get a bit uncomfortable in your own personal Lenten desert. At the time, we had no idea how real this opportunity would become for all of us. Now due to the COVID-19 outbreak and stay-at-home orders across the country, our lives have been turned upside down.
For all of us Catholics, Lent has taken on a new meaning this year. We finally have
—time to spend with our families, rest, focus on projects, and pray. Most importantly, we have time to prepare ourselves for the promises of the Resurrection.
Limits and restrictions on ‘going out’ have forced us all to look inward, to reflect upon our relationships, ourselves, and how we serve others. This has certainly been true for all of us at Centro. We were forced to change our approach, to be very intentional in finding ways to serve our community, and to keep our students excited and engaged. What first seemed like a burden quickly turned into a blessing, and out of sudden necessity we were able to turn our long-time dream of offering online classes into a reality!
We humbly continue to accomplish great things for our community, thanks, in part, to an unforeseen crisis, but most especially thanks to the many people who have trusted us and supported us along the way.
With your support and dedication to the Church and to our community, we continue to serve our people right where they are—at home, taking time to reflect, pray, and learn, just like you and me.
As we wait in joyful hope for the coming of the Resurrection, we pray for new beginnings and new life in Christ. We trust that the best is yet to come, for all of us at Centro and throughout the world. Please do not forget about Centro during these difficult times. Your prayers and economic support are essential to supporting our mission. Thank you, and may God bless you and your families.
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ACCESS ONLINE LEARNING
While Centro has been physically closed since mid-March, staff and volunteers have been working diligently to make online learning accessible to all current students in English, Citizenship, Small Business, and GED classes!
As of April 1st, each of these classes is up and running online. So far, Centro has received great feedback from both teachers and students!
Rosa Martha Alvarado, one current student in both the GED and Small Business classes, is thankful for the opportunity to continue learning online. When the coronavirus arrived in Colorado, "I felt very strange and worried about the situation and wondered what would happen," Rosa comments. "I am so grateful that Centro made it possible for us to continue our classes online."
Rosa feels lucky to have such great support from Centro, her teachers, fellow classmates, and her family. "My son helps me connect to the class and even lets me use his cell phone since mine is so old and slow! 'I am so proud of you,' he told me, and at the end of the class he asks me 'How did it go?' 'Do you need any help?'"
Despite stressful changes over the last few weeks, Rosa and her fellow students, "have formed a beautiful friendship," and received great support from their GED teacher, Esther. "Now it falls on us to use what we have learned to be prepared for whatever comes next," Rosa says.
For students like Rosa, these online classes have brought a sense of stability to these uncertain times."I feel important, I feel more sure of myself," Rosa says, "thanks to people like you [Centro staff] who take the time to give us these kinds of opportunities. All this time not even opening a book, and now I am taking classes ONLINE! It is never too late to learn!"
We are so proud of our staff, volunteers, and students like Rosa who have remained resilient and embraced this new and ever-changing reality. We are blessed to have so many people dedicated to Centro's mission!
OTHER UPDATES AND RESOURCES
The AARP Tax-Aide
free tax preparation
program at Centro is currently suspended until further notice due to coronavirus concerns. The July 15th filing deadline extension may permit the re-opening of this program in the coming weeks, but check out these other free filing resources in the meantime:
Remote Drop Off
IRS Free File
Although Centro's in-person
have also been cancelled until further notice, volunteer lawyers will be offering free call-in consults on April 8th. For more information on how to make an appointment, please call Centro San Juan Diego at 303-295-9470.
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on Monday, April 6 at 5:05PM