Our students are the heartbeat of Literacy Source, and each of these unique individuals has a story worth telling. A few are featured here.
Currently, Zheng is working as one of our Democracy Voucher Program Ambassadors who are educating others about democracy in their home languages. Zheng likes the opportunity to help the community understand information from the city.
Azmera, who also goes by the nickname Azi, first heard about Literacy Source in her native Ethiopia. Her brother, who had immigrated to the U.S. years earlier told her, "When you come to the U.S., you need to go to Literacy Source so you can learn English. That's the first thing you have to do.”
Kevin is a GED student at Literacy Source who started studying here last spring. He was born and raised in Seattle and has settled in Lake City where he also works, running the winter shelter co-hosted by the Mennonite Church, which shares our courtyard.
Merhahwit says that since moving to Seattle, she has taken classes at Literacy Source to improve her English, get a decent job, and still be there for her family without being stressed.
Alfonso (Al) is originally from the Canary Islands but has lived and traveled all over the world due to his career as a merchant marine. He is currently attending Conversation and Citizenship classes and meets with a computer tutor once a week.
Cristiana is taking three classes this fall quarter and attends class Monday through Thursday. When asked about her busy school schedule she says, "I enjoy being here [Literacy Source] so much it doesn't feel like work."
Getting citizenship in June was a big relief for Tsega, who says, "Wow! I can rest." Before getting citizenship she was worried about passing and now feels really good that she achieved her goal.
Kim studies in our Citizenship class, practices computer skills in our Learning Lab, meets with a tutor, and has a cleaning job at Literacy Source - on Mondays and Wednesdays she is here for 8 hours!
Birikiti currently works in homecare while also attending the Ready to Work North class four days a week! She is a very busy but dedicated student. In the future, Birikiti wishes to own a childcare or family home business.
If you ask Meiyan what she likes to do, she'll say "study English!" This explains her excitement to attend citizenship, ESOL, conversation, and computer classes at Literacy Source.
Now that her English is improving, when someone asks her for directions on the street she can give them. She can also hold a conversation on the bus. And she can speak to everyone at work and make friends with them.
Rafael appreciates the human resources at Literacy Source and thinks that the staff and volunteers are some of the most dedicated people in the city! He and his partner, Estela, recently moved to Edmonds but decided to commute because the supportive Literacy Source community is worth it. "There is no other place like this," he says with a smile.
Olga's eyes light up when she talks about her many hobbies - she loves to grow flowers, vegetables, and fruit in her garden; sew clothing; cook Ukrainian foods; and bake delicious pastries and bread!
"Literacy Source feels like home. I've been looking for a place like this for a long time, and I'm so happy I found it. I feel very comfortable here."
Taiko, his teacher, says that Prasert "is an amazing teacher himself. He makes a huge effort to help others around him."
They arrived in the United States in 2014 and are happily settling here with their 5 kids (ranging in age from 13 to 27) and brand new grandchildren, who were born this year within 2 months of each other!
Sam's friendly, outgoing nature makes him very well liked among his fellow students - while he was shy as a kid, he says that as he got older, he became more and more confident thanks to encouragement from some "very nice people."
Todd’s experience at KCCF was his first experience of incarceration, and he is determined that it will be his last.
"I'm happy Literacy Source is my second home."
"I am better because of my education. I can see my future."
Nurga is very serious about his education and through practice he's feeling more confident in skills.
"'I can't' is not in my vocabulary."
During the past 14 months, he has made excellent progress and remains committed to continue learning (in his words) "to better myself."
Staff members characterize Nina as a kindhearted person. She is someone you can sit down with to have endless conversations.
"At the time I was living in Yemen, working as a housekeeper but the income was not enough. I put my name in a lottery for a green card and won! Before that I had also lived in Sudan and Djibouti. But then I won the lottery and came to the US."
"I like to read books and use the computer. I like to read news about India. I like to study English. I also like to watch TV shows about travel. My favorite is Rick Steves."
"I am proud to say that with much hard work and effort I have finally achieved obtaining my GED last month and am extremely ecstatic about it! "