Alex is a hard worker and manages a small landscaping business. Although he works full time, Alex occasionally has to come to the Center for food assistance. It was during one of these visits where he learned about Jobs for Life. Intrigued by the class, he signed up. On the first day, the instructor passed out a questionnaire to fill out and return. At the end of class, Alex walked to the instructor, handed him the form and timidly said, “I can’t fill this out. I don’t know how to read.”
“In our community, one in five adults do not read above the 5th grade level,” states Jana Marbut-Ray, Director of Operations. “In fact, 52% of the students who attend our classes do not have a high school diploma or GED.” Center of Hope established the Adult Basic Education program to help students like Alex learn and improve on basic literacy skills. Through one-on-one instruction, tutors work with students to help them achieve goals they set for themselves, such as learning how to read, filling out a job application, obtaining their High School Equivalency (HSE), or even receiving college prep.
After a moment of awkward silence, a voice from the audience yelled, “Come on! You can do it!” It was one of her classmates giving her the encouraging words she needed. Soon thereafter, she was embraced by her friends reminding her that she was not alone.
Since 2010, Center of Hope has partnered with WISD Bowie Learning Center to address the education needs of adult learners in our community. Together, we work on solutions that unlock a student’s potential by opening up reading, writing and math skills, by teaching basic study skills, and by providing basic job readiness. Alex has a long road ahead of him, but his desire to learn will offer great rewards as he works on achieving his career goals and improving his financial stability.