When Cesar Costa decided to relocate his family from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, he factored in both the costs and the benefits. The cost to Cesar: giving up his career as a senior marketing/sales executive and as a business professor. He decided it was worth taking a chance and eagerly started a home inspection business.
For Costa’s adolescent son, Fabio, the benefits of moving to America were not immediately apparent. “Adapting to life in the States was very challenging—I was in a new school, living in a new culture and English was not my first language,” Fabio says. “Now, I am content and I know the move was worth it.” Fabio is finishing his junior in high school and doing well.
Once Cesar had the family settled and his business was thriving, he decided it was time to do something he had not yet tried: volunteering. He used the internet to locate an interesting opportunity: volunteering as a Connections technology instructor for the Broward County Library. “I have wanted use my teaching skills as a volunteer and this role with the library made that a reality for me.”
Fabio was tuned into the how much his father enjoyed teaching, so he asked Cesar to find out if he could teach Connections classes, too. Cesar was proud of Fabio’s decision and both were excited to learn that Fabio could also teach classes.
Both Costas speak Portuguese, Spanish and English. This allows them to serve participants in the classes better. “We teach from books and programs that are written in English. There are times, though, when it is helpful to explain a concept in the person’s native language,” says Fabio.
Cesar and Fabio agree that by helping people build skills with Microsoft Office courses their own lives are enriched. “We recently had a student come to the library to show us the PowerPoint he had created after taking our class. It was so rewarding to see how proud he was of his abilities and to know that we played a role in his success,” says Cesar.
The father and son duo teach at the South Regional and Main branches of the Broward County Library. In the past two years, Cesar and Fabio have taught more than 40 Connections classes.