Students Give Back
Our Adult Basic Literacy program prides itself on being an “on ramp” for our students. They come to us to prepare for the next step towards their goals. Sometimes that next step is job training, a GED program, or a promotion at work. Sometimes the next step is one that none of us anticipated … giving back to the organization to help other students succeed. Cydne Bolton, Learning Center Coordinator at the Lindsey Learning Center, a collaboration with the Pima County One Stop, has seen this recently.
Hawa has been a student there for over a year, working towards a GED and job training. She is a Congolese refugee and is described by Cydne as “the quietest person on the face of the Earth.” She met one goal last month when she obtained employment. Her pride was evident when she walked into the Lindsey Center and gave Cydne a cash donation for food and coffee. It was the first time she has been able to contribute, and she wanted to make sure that these things that had always been provided for her as a student were available for others too.
Another ABL student at our Yavapai location gives back in so many ways! Easlyn is a 78-year-old woman originally from Grenada. She attends classes faithfully and can be found most mornings before class walking through the courtyard with a rag cleaning off the patio furniture and benches. She knows that many tutors and students use that space for tutoring and relaxing (especially after the amazing makeover by Santa Rita Landscaping).Easlyn also participates in our book cleaning sessions every Friday morning, preparing free books for our Reading Seed children and other Literacy Connects students. She also came in with a cash donation recently, humbly saying that she hopes to be able to give more next time. Another day, she brought in delicious doughnuts and other pastries as well as juice. She’s a sweetheart!
Marty Calanche and Uwe Keilitz are both ABL graduates. They worked hard in ABL classes and tutoring and have been able to use the “on ramp” to move towards their goals. Marty is a student with Pima College Adult Education, but we still frequently call on him for speaking engagements. He recently spoke to the volunteer committee for the Tucson Festival of Books to help them understand what the support of the Festival means for Literacy Connects learners. Uwe loved classes and meeting new people so much that he took the English Language Acquisition for Adults training and is now a tutor in that program. He helps students from all over the world as they struggle with the language and new culture. He is so proud to be able to help other adults as he was helped in the past.
We are so grateful for these adult learners, their tremendous progress, and all the many ways they find to share their gifts and gratitude with others.