Student Advisory Council
Adult learners are at the center of everything we do at ProLiteracy. Our Student Advisory Council makes sure that it stays that way. To ensure that the student voice is heard loud and clear, our team of current and former adult literacy students work as advocates, speakers, and consultants to help shape the direction of ProLiteracy.
Current Student Advisory Council Members
"I graduated from high school with a B average but only read at a fourth grade level. With the fear of what others would think of me, I hid my lack of skills for years. The reason I started looking for help was my job responsibilities were changing, and communicating by email was required. Where would I be today if literacy programs didn't exist? I couldn't be doing a job that I love. Literacy programs change lives and I'm proof of that."
"I started my profession in tire sells and service and worked in that field for for 28 years. For 10 out of those 28 years, my wife Sheila and I had our own business. Then we sold is, and I went to work for a greenhouse company, where I worked for 14 years, learing the trade of landscaping. For the last five years, I have been Grandskeeper-Engineer Maintenance. I am connected to the Alexandria Literacy Project; I have been with the program since1983. Thanks to this program, I've gotten my commercial driver's license, with bus endorsment, and second class engineer license. After all these years, I got my dream job."
"After I graduated from high school, I was still only reading at a 5th or 6th grade level; this I found out after being tested at a literacy program in California. I went to college but I knew I wasn't where I needed to be. I wasn't able to keep up. I started with a tutor and made improvements--two grade levels, but then I had a fulltime job and I had a child and it was hard to manage everything in my life. I moved with my family to Georgia and lived here almost three years before joining another literacy program. I was in a high school level when I started there and now I'm higher--maybe 10th or 12th grade. I'm proud my levels have gone up and that I'm putting myself in charge. I'm doing it this time, and I'm getting something out of it, and I can see the progress. My goal is to keep my children on track, make sure they learn how to read and write. I'm very involved with their school. It doesn't matter how young or old you are or if you know how to read or don't know how to read. You've got to make yourself do it for yourself and for your family. If parents don't know, how are we going to teach our children?"
Roosevelt, New York
"Approximately 11 years ago, I found out that my daughter and son-in-law were expecting a child, and I knew that I would be helping them care for the child when they returned to work. I decided to improve my literacy skills so that I could read stories to my grandson. By learning how to read, I am now able to assist my grandsons with their homework. I now am able to fully understand what I am reading and able to move along in society with all the technological advances going on."
"I knew I could not read or write very well. I saw Curtis Aikens on TV and he said he could not read or write. My brother could not read or write either so he said, 'Let's go to the library.' We saw on the TV that the library could help you. So my brother and I went and we got a tutor and she helped me read better. I volunteered at the Reading Program and they said they needed an adult learner on staff and that it should be me because I knew the office and was an adult learner. I worked there and at the Read Santa Clara office. We started the Henry Huffman Institute for adult learners in 2000 and it's still going on now."
"You can only teach what you know, and I didn't want my lack of skills passed on to my two daughters. I wanted a beautiful life for them. My daughter Raven now has a master's degree from UC Davis and my daughter Tatum is pursuing an acting career. Having literacy skills made it possible for them to pursue their goals. The other reason I wanted to improve my literacy skills was for me. I thought I had no power to change my life until I found an adult literacy program. That's when my life changed. I can pick up a book and read it now and most of the time, I can comprehend the process of life within those books. No person in America should be without basic literacy skills. It's a tragedy that low literacy is still prevalent in America."