Former teacher named Hispanic coordinator
December 8, 2006
Even though it has been 12 years since she moved here from Colombia, Neyzer Torres knows from personal experience how difficult it is to learn another language.
“I didn’t know English when I came here and I know it’s very hard,” Torres said. “You need to learn the language to be able to communicate. I don’t speak English perfect but I can let people know what I want.”
Torres is the new Hispanic project coordinator at the Partnership of Community Resources and it is her job to let members of the Hispanic community know what services are available to them. She wants people to know that learning English is the first step to understanding the culture.
“You can have better jobs,” she said. “And immigration is an issue – when you’re legal you have more opportunities.”
There are no services available in Gardnerville as yet, so Torres is the link for those who speak Spanish exclusively to learn what services are available from Nevada Hispanic Services of Carson City.
Nevada Hispanic Services provides information about education, jobs, health, social, housing and immigration; assistance in filling out applications, interpretation, legal services, tutoring, prenatal classes and many other services.
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In her native Colombia, Torres was a TV and radio broadcaster. When she married juvenile probation officer Mike Torres and moved to this country, she knew little English and he knew little Spanish. The two are teaching each other the languages and found that being bilingual was helpful at their jobs.
“We thought we’d be working together,” said Neyzer Torres. “In the future, we really want to do a drug prevention program and educate the community about the importance of learning English.”
Neyzer Torres was a Spanish teacher at Gardnerville Elementary until the language program in Douglas County was cut at the end of the 2005 school year. She was disappointed, especially since both English and Spanish speakers improved their Spanish language skills.
“The kids were really learning,” Torres said. “We were able to see results after several years. You could see what was happening by high school. They don’t have any accent. They learned to speak and write the language.”
As the new Hispanic coordinator at the partnership, Torres put out more than 100 surveys to get an idea of the needs of the Hispanic community. She found a need for English classes, but at the top of the list of concerns was how to qualify for insurance and medical services.
There were also concerns about how to get information about immigration and that childcare should be considered when English classes are offered.
Torres will continue to have meetings at the partnership to find out how many people are attending classes and even what classes are wanted or needed.
Torres stresses that she wants to help people know what services are out there. She is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at (775) 901-1781.
For a list of Nevada Hispanic Services, go nhs.org. For more information, call 885-1055 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday.
Nevada Hispanic Services is at 637 S. Stewart St. #B, Carson City.
A full list of the Partnership’s resources can be found at http://www.partnership-resource.org or by calling 782-8611 during regular hours. They are located at 1528 Highway 395, Suite 100, Gardnerville.
n Partnership of Community Resources
Servicios en Español
9 a.m. hasta las 3 p.m., Martes y Jueves
Neyzer Torres, (775) 901-1781
n Servicios Hispanos de Nevada en Carson City
637 S. Stewart #B, Carson City, NV 89701
Martes, Miércoles y Jueves de las 9 de la mañana a las 5 de la tarde.
Viernes asuntos de inmigración por cita.
n Aprenda Inglés gratis (Learn English for free)
Clases de Inglés Como Segunda Idioma en Carson City
ESL orientación y registración, Western Nevada Community College
Para poder atender las clases de Inglés, necesita venir a la oficina (Edificio Bristlecone #340) en una de las fechas o horas anotadas abajo. Planee permanecer en el colegio por tres horas durante este tiempo. Solo su presencia es necesario, no necesita ningún requisto. Lo esperamos con gusto para ayudarle a empezar y mejorar su habilidad en su Inglés. Las clases comienzan el 9 de Enero. Para mas información llamen al (775) 445-4451.