ESL and Citizenship Classes — State Farm®
State Farm Partners to Bring ESL and Citizenship Classes to the High Desert
Recently, State Farm joined the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HDHCC) for their 20th Anniversary Celebration. The chamber has been serving the Victorville community as well as businesses in the area for the past 20 years.
Since 2008, State Farm has partnered with Chamber's foundation to fund their English as a Second Language (ESL) and Citizenship classes. This year we continued that partnership with a $5,000 grant which was presented at the anniversary celebration. Many of the class participants have sent State Farm letters throughout the last three years to share their appreciation of our efforts.
Mercedes Ortiz, State Farm multicultural business development manager, provided the keynote address which outlined her personal story of coming to the United States as a political refugee from Cuba to her successful career at State Farm. The theme of the evening was empowerment and the attendees experienced it through Ortiz's story of the challenges experienced when she came to the U.S. with her younger siblings at the age of eight without her parents.
"I was a member of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board for a number of years and served as an officer, so I know first-hand how important the Chamber's work is in the community. It's really a way of lending a hand " of being a good neighbor. I was proud State Farm was recognized for its partnership with the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on ESL and Citizenship classes," Ortiz said.
Vickie Cabriales, President and CEO of the HDHCC said, "Mercedes Ortiz captivated the audience with her tender mode of speaking and the compelling story about her life's journey as an immigrant from Cuba at the age of eight to her accomplished life working for State Farm for so many years."
The local State Farm Redland's Agency Field Office purchased a table at the event supporting the great Chamber and its agents Sharon Lopez and Anthony Flores, both of whom are members and actively involved in the chamber and community.
"It was an amazing event," said Lopez. "Many of us were on the edge of our seats listening to Mercedes' story. It is very compelling."