July 19, 2018 – Thirty-eight residents of Oakland County graduated from Oakland Literacy Council’s free tutoring program this month and are already enjoying opportunities because of their stronger reading, writing, and conversation skills.
One graduate, Yeon, a soft-spoken mother of two from South Korea, passed the six-hour national licensure exam for registered nurses on the first try. She credits her volunteer tutor, Margie, for building her vocabulary and comprehension skills during their weekly one-on-one sessions. “My tutor gave me the confidence to pass the test,” Yeon said.
Like Yeon, another graduate, Norma, a native of Mexico, has begun using her improved English skills to give back to the community. She enthusiastically volunteers in an x-ray lab at Beaumont Hospital-Troy, serving the public and hospital staff. “I want to be a part of society and help others if I can,” Norma says, adding that her tutor, John, “was the right person for me at the right time. All the stars were aligned.”
To graduate from the program, students must pass an assessment demonstrating mastery of real-life competencies, such as understanding job postings, legal notices, safety manuals, and medical instructions.
“It is so much fun to celebrate the gains students have made with their tutors,” said Lisa Machesky, the council’s executive director, after a graduation ceremony for the students, their tutors, and the council’s board of directors. “These relationships change lives: our students are able to navigate the world much better with stronger English language skills, they are able to talk and email their children’s teacher, they are able to communicate with their doctor, and they are able to take on more responsibility in the workplace because of these new skills.”