“It is a pleeaaaa-sure to meet you,” Ernie Calderon slowly enunciated to an enrapt audience of HPP clients.
An HPP volunteer since August, Ernie has dedicated hours to teaching a weekly ESL class, as well as helping clients with accessing services and resources at the Community Technology Center (CTC).
Ernie was first introduced to HPP through his goddaughter’s mother, Karla Ayala, a Community Health Worker at HPP. Ernie, who fine-tuned his English teaching skills abroad in Vietnam and Buenos Aires, is excited to help others in his own community.
“I was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District, and I love having the opportunity to volunteer in a community that has already given me so much,” Calderon said. “I enjoy introducing the English language to others. “When the clients leave HPP, improved English language skills will help, as well as inspire, them to pursue further education.”
Ernie feels particularly connected to the population HPP serves. As the son of a single mother who emigrated from El Salvador, he relates to many of the struggles clients must face in their day-to-day lives.
“When I talk to the clients and hear their stories, I envision what it must have been like when my mom was younger and trying to raise two young children on her own,” Calderon said. “I am in awe of my mom, and I honestly see a little bit of my mom in every one of them! I wish I could do more, I am grateful for this opportunity to give my time and energy to a worthy cause.”
HPP is grateful for you, Ernie! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and efforts in helping our families!
Watch Ernie Calderon in action at HPP and listen to him share his volunteer experience: