Kimura came to Colorado from Japan in 1970. Back then, she didn't know a word of English. Today, she helps teach English to other newcomers."I was nervous on that first day in the English class. So, yes, I know their feeling," said Kimura.
Kimura volunteers for the Goodwill of Denver Newcomer Program. It helps refugees and other foreign students learn English."There are students from 15 different countries who speak eight different languages," said Ruthann Kallenberg, with Goodwill Denver.
And Kimura helps ease their transition into this country with a gently, guiding presence."Yumino brings dependability and devotion to this population. She feels their same anxieties, having been new to the country as well," said South High teacher Ed DeRose.
"She's so passionate and enthusiastic. She's so committed," added Kallenberg.Kimura has gotten so good at this over the last three and a half years. She helps newcomers with math as well.
"She was always there to help you. When you don't speak English, she makes it easier for you to understand," said former student Nadia Irafasha.Kimura says she volunteers as a way to repay her debt of gratitude to America. Her only pay is the student's gratitude.
"When I hear the words 'thank you,' I feel so great, very happy," said Kimura.
To learn more about Goodwill Denver go to www.goodwilldenver.org