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Success Stories

The Gift of Friendship

Tutor Kathy:

I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and, given my love of reading, I thought that Literacy Volunteers would be a good fit. I wanted to give back to the community. Little did I imagine that while I was helping people to improve their basic reading skills or to speak better English I would receive at least as much in return.

I’ve been tutoring for about six years now. I’ve had several students with very varied backgrounds, reluctantly saying goodbye when an existing student moves out of the area. In the process I gained good friends. These friends are people I would not normally come in contact with because of differences in socio-economic background, geography or culture but who I now realize are very much like me in all important ways.

Without Literacy Volunteers I wouldn’t know how Hungarian palacsinta are made (or how good they taste). I wouldn’t have heard about how the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated in Taiwan, or tasted Turkish Delight candy. I wouldn’t have come to understand first-hand that a person who dropped out of high school and spent time in jail could turn his life around to be a model husband, father and employee. And most of all I wouldn’t have developed wonderful new friends as we talk about families, work, health and life.

All this opens me up as a person and expands my circle of friends as I continue to Skype, email and exchange cards with former students. And there is no better gift in life than friends.

Kathy & Esengul working together at the local library.

Learner Esengul:

I am from Turkey. We have been in the States for 2.5 years for my husband's business. I enjoy being in here. It is very good life experience for my family. Kathy has started to tutor me almost for one year. I really appreciate her time and patience. I enjoy meeting with her every week. She is so kind, knowledgeable and loves teaching. I have learned lots of things from her. Thanks to Kathy my English has improved a lot.

She encourages me to read a lot. She brings me good books and some interesting articles and after reading we also discuss about the articles and books that helps my speaking. Pronunciation is also very important part of our section. I feel so comfortable to ask her anything about that I don't know or understand. She is so nice to explain the things several times.

I have learned American culture from her as well as English. I think to learn the culture is also important for the newcomers to be part of the society. I would like to say thanks to LVSC for providing this opportunity to me and I can't say thank you enough to my dear tutor Kathy for her great support.