In the fourth story for our Family Literacy Month series, we highlight Alvenas, a single mother who overcame the challenges of growing up in a low literacy household. Her story shows us why family literacy matters…
Day after day, Alvenas witnessed her parents struggle because of low literacy skills. Alvenas knew that education was the key to a better life, but she faced a steep learning curve and a family unit unable to advocate for her. Undeterred, Alvenas asked for help from teachers who cared enough to spend extra time tutoring. She felt it was the only way she could break her family's cycle of low literacy. By ninth grade, Alvenas began writing her father's letters, filling out his annual food stamp recertification, and reading over other vital documents for him.
Alvenas then went on to receive an associate's degree and a vocational degree, something that none of her 14 siblings has yet achieved. She then relocated with her young son from Florida to Syracuse, New York. In 2000, she joined ProLiteracy through a welfare-to-work program. She is now the senior customer service representative.
"ProLiteracy truly put its mission into action by hiring and training me. They worked with me despite my initial lack of skills," Alvenas said. "The lack of literacy skills is a real barrier to improving the lives of people. I see some of my neighbors and their families struggle every day. But I know that people can improve their lives because I did it. With the help of organizations such as ProLiteracy, people can succeed."
For more information on how you can help people like Alvenas improve their literacy skills and create better futures for their children, visit ProLiteracy today.
In honor of Family Literacy Month, this is the fourth in our series of Tuesday eblasts
leading up to #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving to others.
#GivingTuesday takes place on December 2, 2014.