Harry helps Survival Skills students unlock new opportunities in the Dominican Republic

January 11, 2018

Harry teaching English to Survival Skills student

In the Dominican Republic, Just Hope’s Survival Skills teacher Harry Gomez is empowering our Survival Skills students to unlock their own doors to new employment opportunities by teaching English as a second language.

Harry’s Road to Teaching

Born in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, Harry was raised by his mother, a pediatrician, and father, a Navy Admiral, in a family with seven siblings. While his family was living in San Antonio, Texas, he began learning how to speak English by watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company on television. 

Harry earned his college degree in software programming in the United States. For over 10 years, his career was solely based in video game, entertainment, tourism and healthcare industries. Having the ability to speak English unlocked many opportunities for him in the Dominican Republic, and eventually led him to teach English to people working for companies in La Romana.

Harry teaching classroom English language.

Harry teaching an English lesson to his students.

“Nowadays English is not only a tool or an additional skill, it has become a necessity, a means to forwarding one’s self in any job in modern day Dominican Republic,” Harry said.

Since childhood, Harry remembers his mother teaching him to help those in need. Seeing an opportunity to help students improve their chances of securing employment in a competitive job market, Harry accepted the offer to teach English to students in the Just Hope International Survival Skills program after working as a translator for the team.

“We live in a third world country and the more prepared you are, the better. Since we have a booming tourist industry, the simple fact that you speak English can get you a job here,” Harry stated.

Joanna and Harry teaching Survival Skills

Survival Skills teachers Joanna and Harry instructing their class.

Our Second Year in the Dominican Republic

This month, we will launch the second year of our Survival Skills program in the Dominican Republic. We are excited to continue working with our Survival Skills teachers, Harry and Joanna, and support them as they lead the program outside of the orphanage.

“We will be taking a much more practical approach, inviting guest speakers, having more activities in smaller groups and focusing a lot more on getting the students confident enough to talk to others,” Harry commented.

With teachers like Harry working through our Survival Skills program, Survival Skills students have a chance to unlock their own doors to new employment opportunities with the English language and life skills they acquire.

Get Involved

You can learn more about our programs and the remarkable people we serve around the world. Find out how you can get involved and help us equip men, women and children with the tools they need to unlock more opportunities.