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Amelia Lopez's eyes occasionally wander to the large pot of boiling water and macaroni on the stove. She sits in the kitchen of the Buckner Family Hope Center® in Houston, dividing her time between cooking a pasta salad and discussing her position on the Family Hope Center's advisory council.

Even 25 years after moving to Houston from Mexico, Lopez can still be self-conscious about her English. She's calculated with her words to avoid mistakes. But what she doesn't realize is her English is perfect even when she's multitasking, deftly measuring ingredients while sharing her life story.

It was the opportunity to enlist in free ESL (English as a second language) classes that first drew Lopez to the Family Hope Center in 2000. 

"I moved to Houston a year earlier and was embarrassed not to be able to speak English well," Lopez admitted. "I had a great teacher at the center, Mr. Billy, who encouraged us to keep learning outside class by listening to English music, watching English television shows and reading books in English."

Read her journey to confidence in the latest Buckner Today. 

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