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May 2023 - Matthew Kern

Matthew, who his Spanish classmates know as Mateo, started his studies at Tierra back in the before times, Winter 2020, at the Beginner 1 level. After his first two courses, the pandemic hit and he shifted online with us, where he continued to take a class each term. Incredibly dedicated to his studies, he moved up through our curriculum and has achieved a solidly high intermediate level. A social worker who works in hospice care, his main motivation to learn Spanish is to be able to communicate with his patients and their families in Spanish, as they navigate those challenging circumstances. Full of enthusiasm and love of learning, Matthew eagerly participates in class and is a truly caring classmate who helps build a positive classroom environment. We are honored to count Matthew among our amazing student community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to see him polish his skills and put them to very important use in the Spanish-speaking community.


Name: Matthew Kern
Occupation: Hospice social worker
Time Studying at Tierra: Since Winter 2020

1) Why are you studying Spanish?
"I am a hospice social worker and I would like to be able to speak Spanish with my patients and families. I started during the Pandemic and am slowly but surely making progress".

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?
"I have met many great people, both virtually and in person. One of the cool aspects of being online is that we get to meet people outside of the Portland area. Everyone has different reasons for studying Spanish and it's cool to hear different perspectives.  I also love that my cat Lucy is able to come to class. She is a very popular student!"

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?
"I have been able to cautiously use some Spanish in my work.  I have also been able to speak Spanish with people I have encountered in my daily life, it's a great feeling even if the conversation is relatively simple".

¡Felicidades Matthew!