Immigrant Stories: Isabel Noriega

Published by Program Manager on

Immigrant Stories: Isabel Noriega

Meet Isabel Noriega. She has five children, one son and four daughters, all adults now. She and her family are from the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where she worked for 20 years as a bookkeeper. Isabel is very devoted to her children and outside of work, spent her days taking her kids to swimming, basketball, and athletics classes. Isabel herself attended beauty classes and became a nail tech and hairstylist, often giving her family members free haircuts. On weekends, she enjoyed visiting with her siblings and mother. Her first grandchild was born in Mexico this year, and she hopes to be able to visit him soon.

Isabel came to the United States with her husband in October 2007 when she was 40 years old. They settled in Bryan, Texas. She appreciates the fact that Bryan is similar to the town she came from in Tamaulipas: a peaceful and safe place where she is able to live close to work. In Bryan, Isabel wakes up at 3:15 am every day, has coffee, and then works at Texas A&M University, cleaning classrooms and offices, until 1 pm.

Outside of work, she spends her time cooking, cleaning, and going to church, and still finds the time to come to English class twice a week, every week! She enjoys spending the weekends with her husband and going to church. Isabel thanks God for transforming her life and giving her and her husband the opportunity to come to the United States. She considers the opportunity to attend BIIN’s English and citizenship classes a blessing.

Isabel really appreciates the patient instruction she has received in BIIN’s beginner-level English class. Her vocabulary and pronunciation have both improved greatly since the beginning of the spring 2022 semester. She says the in-person classes led by volunteer teachers Julia Lynch (spring 2022) and Elisabeth Stewart (summer 2022) are a lot of fun. Isabel is particularly fond of the different games they play: Pictionary, bingo, and “matamosca” (where participants show their understanding of new vocabulary by being the first to smack an icon or picture of an item on the board with a flyswatter), among other games. Frequent laughter can be heard coming from their classroom, for sure. Isabel is “very satisfied” by the work put in by the lead teachers with help from volunteers. She can tell that they are passionate about their work.

Isabel (right) teams up with volunteer Nathan Bracher to practice a conversation between a customer and an employee at a grocery store.

Isabel’s hopes for the future are that God will continue to bless her with good health. She also wants to continue learning English and eventually become a US citizen. She says BIIN’s services have really supported her in her journey towards achieving these goals, and she points out that BIIN was there to help her in a moment of need. Isabel’s hopes for her children are that they continue to take God’s hand and receive His blessings, and that they find good jobs.

Isabel is immensely grateful to BIIN and feels very blessed to be in the US, to live in a calm community and to be able to take advantage of these educational opportunities. To help immigrant neighbors like Isabel continue to deepen their skills in English and become U.S. citizens, please consider supporting our programs with a donation, which can easily be made through the blue button on our website.   Thank you, Isabel, for blessing this community with your hard work, your deep commitment to learning, and your desire to serve this country as a U.S. citizen!

Thanks to Gloria McIntush, spring 2022 Conversational English intern, for writing this profile of Isabel, and to summer 2022 intern Elisabeth Stewart, for valuable contributions.