JIN XIN WANG: Business owner & American citizen
Jin Xin Wang’s file at Literacy for Life contains a long list of goal achievements. The first, dated March of 2014, was “Learned alphabet and numbers.” Jin Xin did not speak or read a word of English when he emigrated from China, yet he bravely approached Literacy for Life and used the translation app on his phone to ask for help. Despite working long hours as a chef, Jin Xin would meet a tutor early in the morning before work, and he attended classes and used online learning programs when he could. ESL teacher Mary O’Brien admires his determination. “He is an inspiration to everyone,” she says, “and a hard worker both in and out of the classroom.” Over time, Jin Xin gained confidence. He would catch himself reaching for his phone, pause, and push himself to try using English. His language improved steadily, and after he had been a United States resident for the required five years, he began to study for citizenship. Tutor Fran Gelb helped him prepare for his interview, a daunting experience which tests the applicant's civics knowledge and ability to converse in English. Jin Xin passed his interview in March 2021 and will swear in as a United States citizen on April 19. Fran comments that working with Jin Xin “is a pleasure, because he is always interested and wants to do his best.” She adds, “He is a wonderful example of a new citizen!” Jin Xin plans to continue attending Literacy for Life. His need for strong English is only increasing, because he is not just a new citizen—he is a business owner! Jin Xin recently purchased the Williamsburg location of Peter Chang Restaurant, and he looks forward to providing hospitality and delicious food to our community for years to come.