Give the Gift of Literacy for the Holidays!
LearningQuest students, Beverly Hardee, Karla Flores and Beatriz Gonzalez, are all mothers wanting to reach their educational goals in order to support and become role models for their children.
Beatriz Gonzalez is learning English and also earning her High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma at LearningQuest. She said, “I decided to focus on my education for my kids because I want to be able to communicate with the teachers at school and also teach my kids how to read and write. I want my children to know the importance of education.”
Growing up in Mexicali, Mexico, Beatriz worked from 9 am to 9 pm and still did not make enough to financially support her family or even have enough time left in the day to spend with them. Beatriz said, “In Mexico, you need to have a good job because education is expensive.” In the U.S., adults with parents without a high school diploma earn a lower income (less than $28,000 a year) than those whose parents have a high school or college diploma.*
Gaining independence as an English speaker and role model for her children, Beatriz said, “My child knows English and I’ll depend on him to translate for me, but he is not always going to be there for me. I had to learn for myself.” Now, instead of asking for a Spanish speaker at stores, Beatriz has the confidence to communicate in English. “I want to set an example for my children. I want to teach them that if you set goals and you work hard, anything is possible.”
Beverly Hardee, smiling brightly under the spotlights, nervously approached the podium at her graduation ceremony this past October to share her story with the audience. As Valedictorian, she was able to reach her goal of earning a diploma – and then some. Beverly dropped out of school after 8th grade and it took years for her to get back on track, she said, “I realized after a while that I had chosen the wrong path in life, but thought it was too late for me.”
Her case worker showed her that LearningQuest was a free option for her to earn her diploma. However, shortly after enrolling, Beverly became homeless. She and her family lived in their car for most of the scorching Central Valley summer. Beverly was still determined to go to class, she said, “I wanted more, not only for myself, but for my children. That was no life for them and I wasn’t setting the example I wanted them to follow. It was time for me to find my path.”
After spending every spare moment studying books that barely made sense to her, focusing hard in class, and learning from instructors, she graduated! Beverly is enrolled in Administration of Justice classes for the spring at MJC. With research showing that adults with college educated parents score almost 60 points higher than adults whose parents had no high school experience,* Beverly is doing her part to set her children up for success.
Karla Flores is learning how to read and write in LearningQuest’s Literacy Tutoring program. She was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco where access to resources and education is limited. Karla said, “Life in Mexico is very beautiful, the people are nice, the food is delicious, but the economy is very different than in the United States.” When she arrived in the U.S., Karla knew that her next chapter would begin when she could confidently read and write in English.
“The need to have a better chance at a better job” is a priority in order to support her family. Karla said, “To know is power in all aspects. When a person has more knowledge, it is easier to have a better job opportunity, a better salary, and a better work environment.” We have seen that adults with high school educated parents are 11% more likely to be employed than an adult with a parent that has had no high school experience.*
She aims to learn more every day from her volunteer tutor, Janette, in order to sharpen her reading and writing skills – all in hopes of finding a better job to provide for her children.
*Literacy data provided by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Learn more about adult literacy competencies at bit.ly/piaacproject
To learn more about LearningQuest’s Literacy for the Holidays campaign, click the button below or visit www.LQSLC.com/holidays