When she first walked through the doors at College Bound Dorchester, Domingas Dos Santos wanted just one thing: to learn English.

The thought of earning her GED, let alone a college degree, was as foreign and inaccessible as the language she couldn’t speak or understand. A recent arrival from Cape Verde, Dos Santos, then 26, was a mother of three boys under 6, unemployed, and living in a shelter. A high school diploma? A college degree? You may as well have offered her a trip to the moon, they were all equally unimaginable.

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