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My name is Donovan Barnes, and I have written this letter on behalf of the Washington Literacy Center, a place that has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Now, I can simply go off on a tangent and share a “rise above” story, but I would rather tell you about myself and the opportunities that have presented itself over a time period of a year.
Unlike our typical students, I came to the center with a high school diploma, and previous college experience, studying psychology. As you are reading this, you might ask me why did I choose to come here? What did I gain from the Washington Literacy Center? I would say that I gained a vast amount of connections and experience that has been cultivating and motivating me to do better with myself.
I was stuck in a cycle that limited me and my aspirations. I desperately wanted more out of my life. It became a point where I questioned the validity and importance of my place in life. I was not utilizing all of the knowledge I learned in a workplace setting. With the world at the forefront and my dreams on the back burner, coming to the Washington Literacy Center was my “last resort”. The WLC Instructors have been steadfast in placing my talents in front of people that can help put me on a successful career path. This is my story; there are many in addition to mine that “sing the same tune,” the tune of success. Without your support, I and countless of others would most likely not be in the same situation.
Thank you for all of your support helping people just like me. Please keep the momentum, I ask you to donate, volunteer, and spread the word about the Washington Literacy Center.
Jose Martinez is not a stranger to the Washington Literacy Center or the opportunities that can be found here. A returning student, he shares that in the past a number of barriers kept him from completing his studies at WLC despite the program being very helpful for him. Now, he has come back to finish what he started. “What the WLC has established is very comforting for people that are looking for help.”
Jose is currently attending the Just Words Intermediate level course. He hopes to be able to pick up more tools for reading and life and knows that his classmates share the same goals. “If you can’t read, it messes with your emotions. Some people are great people, but the issue they have is overwhelming and consumes their life. That’s why I’m here.”
Jose hopes to use the new skills he is learning at Washington Literacy Center to find a job to support him and his family. He is working hard to write the next chapter of his life.
Jose is a resident of Ward 4.
"I understand the longer you live, the more you understand what is important. What you may think is important about life often isn’t."
Thus begins one of Elizabeth B's regular contributions to Street Sense, a non-profit publication dedicated to empowering and uplifting the voices of people living through homelessness.
Elizabeth has been a student at WLC for several semesters and is fast on her way to graduating and joining one of DC's fantastic GED programs.
Elizabeth, like many of our students, is an active and vital member of her community. Her words give voice to herself and others like her. If you are as proud of Elizabeth as we are, make a donation today to help ensure we can serve as many DC residents as possible.
Elizabeth is a resident of Ward 8.
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Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.
- Brad Paisley