Some people have a passion for learning.
Then there’s Roxanne Romero.
The Local 9231 member at ArcelorMittal I/N Tek & I/N Kote in New Carlisle, Indiana, has taken learning a second language to another level.
The 29-year steel veteran has completed an eye-popping 210 hours of Spanish with Rosetta Stone.
“That is just fantastic,” Rosetta Stone account manager Martha Teu said of Romero.
Romero is no stranger to the ICD program. Over her career as a Steelworker, she’s taken everything from cooking to finance to bicycle maintenance to sign language.
“I just love the ICD program,” Romero said. “I utilized the program from the get-go.”
Romero, who also completed seven Spanish tutoring sessions with Rosetta Stone, said she did it all for personal reasons. She has a thirst for learning new things, but her youngest daughter is a licensed Spanish teacher and her son-in-law is also fluent in Spanish.
“I just thought it would be cool to communicate with them,” Romero said. “I just love to learn and I love to read. There was the opportunity through ICD with Rosetta Stone and I just jumped on it.”
Romero spent so many hours on Rosetta Stone that she started writing everything down in notebooks. She said it was challenging, to say the least, starting with words, building to sentences, to translating from English to Spanish, and back from Spanish to English. According to Rosetta Stone’s growth report, Romero made significant gains in her proficiency level of the Spanish language – going from A1/true beginner to B1/beginning intermediate.
“I have tons of notebooks laying around the house,” Romero said.
Besides a knack for learning, Romero has steel in her blood. Her dad and uncle both worked at Bethlehem Steel, while her husband, Rick, was an employee at Bethlehem Steel in Buffalo before the plant closed down. That’s when the family relocated to Northwest Indiana. Rick is currently a welder in the fab shop at the Burns Harbor plant. Their son, Joseph, also works for ArcelorMittal as an electrical engineer.
Roxanne and Rick have three children and nine grandchildren.
“I tell everybody to take advantage of the (ICD) program,” Romero said. “I know some people work 12-hour shifts and are tired, but there comes a point where you’ve got to make time for yourself.
“Our ICD building is so close to the plant, and (ICD coordinator) Jen (Kuzdas) is so wonderful and makes everything exciting.”