Carmen Malia

PPL Alum Carmen Malia

I was an attorney in Spain before coming to the U.S. and ultimately arriving in Rhode Island in late 2016.  Since then I found I must methodically pursue opportunities to improve my English, become connected, and gain experience in order to become employed.  I am so thankful for the connections I have made after joining a RIFLI intermediate ESL class at Cranston’s Auburn Library.

It all started at the Library.  One of my first critical connections was meeting Elizabeth Segovis of Rhode Island Legal Services (RILS) when she came one day to speak to the class. Sometimes, it’s just fate.  I had just written to her and she appeared to speak to us!  I knew I would not find a job immediately, but felt I had useful skills I could offer to help others while working to improve my English.  Elizabeth and everyone there welcomed me and gave me so much encouragement.

I was not only able to help others by volunteering as a translator at RILS, but I also gained useful experience, support, and relationships that have led to job opportunities. I am currently working as a paralegal.

The process has been very hard, but I’m a strong person.  I always try to take what I can learn from everything, no matter how difficult, and don’t let setbacks stop me. Being persistent helps a lot.  I have a strong conviction that I will be successful. I can imagine it is difficult for many people, but I have learned that everything in life needs a process.  Through my current experience as a paralegal and doing important translation work, I realize the value of what I have to offer to others, and that I can also help them believe in themselves.

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