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4/9/2012

Shellie Walters Takes the Helm of ProLiteracy's Student Advisory Council

ProLiteracy

Shellie Walters Takes the Helm of ProLiteracy’s Student Advisory Council

Shellie Walters of Sumner, WA, resource coordinator of the mail service center at Pemco Insurance, an adult learner, and a long-time supporter of adult literacy initiatives, has been elected as the new chair of ProLiteracy’s national Student Advisory Council.

Walters previously served as vice chair of the council from 2009 to 2012. The Student Advisory Council (SAC) ensures that ProLiteracy receives input from adult learners, a key constituent group on whose behalf ProLiteracy advocates on national and international platforms. The SAC consists of nine current and former adult learners. They provide their insight and advice to different departments, staff, and governance groups on a variety of issues.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shellie as the new chair of our Student Advisory Council,” said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “As we continue our advocacy efforts, having direct input from adult learners like Shellie is crucial to our success. Her leadership will help inform our work and enable us to reach many other adult learners.”

“When I walked in the door of the Literacy Source in Seattle, I was looking to improve my education but that step has taken me further than I imagined and I’m looking forward to taking on this new role,” said Walters.

Walters knows firsthand the challenges faced by adult learners. She graduated from high school with a B average, only reading at a fourth grade level. She worked for 10 years at Pemco before realizing that to be promoted, she would need to improve her literacy skills. She is currently enrolled at the Literacy Source, a ProLiteracy partner and community learning center that provides adult literacy services in Seattle. During her time working with her tutor, Walters’ confidence in her reading and writing skills has steadily increased. Committed to the adult learners’ community, she took on a leadership role at Literacy Source’s women’s group and worked to organize a citywide speaker’s bureau of adult learners advocating for literacy.

“Shellie not only demonstrates and celebrates the significance of adult literacy; she works hard to tell others of the importance of life-long learning,” said Anne Helmholz, executive director of the Literacy Source. “In her studies at Literacy Source, she has broadened her perspectives and gone beyond her original goal of advancing in her job; she continues to study and improve her skills to give back to her community. She models leadership by supporting and advocating for Literacy Source and adult learning services in these difficult financial times. She garners support by example. Her success inspires us all.”

Today, Walters works at the same insurance company handling mailing services. She also serves as secretary on the board of directors of WE LEARN, a national organization that promotes women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment.

For more information on the Literacy Source, visit www.literacysource.org. For more information on ProLiteracy’s Student Advisory Council, contact Mark Cass, vice president for community engagement, at mcass@proliteracy.org or (315) 422 9121, ext. 313.

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