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The Author of Her Destiny

Woman Uses the Power of Words to Write New Life Chapter

Picture this: You’re handed an open book and asked to read it aloud. But the pages look like meaningless symbols. You’re lost in a busy city - and can’t recognize the street signs. Your child needs help with homework. But their worksheet is too difficult to process. For millions of people who struggle with low literacy…this is real life.

“I have so many things in my head. I’ve never been able to explain them before.”

Meet *Silvia, of Houston, Texas. Unable to attend school growing up, she couldn’t read or write. But as the author of her life story, she knew she could master the skills needed to create a brighter chapter for herself and her loved ones.

Silvia visited Literacy Advance of Houston and enrolled in classes. Since the 1960’s, the not-for-profit organization has been helping adults improve their literacy through trained volunteer tutors and programs like basic reading, writing and English.Listening, Learning, Writing and Registration. Literacy Advance of Houston helps students improve their literacy.

Silvia was determined to:

  • Learn to read and write.
  • Get her GED.
  • Do more for her children, herself, and her community.

“I wanted my son to know I am the boss. One day he will be the boss. I want him to go further and do more than I am but for now, I am still the boss,” she smiled. Literacy Advance made the learning process easy for Silvia. It offered flexible hours, programs to meet her needs, and the technology necessary to achieve. “If I have a problem, I know I can go to Diana, the Literacy Advance Transition Coach,” Silvia explained. “She helps me and even loaned me a computer so I can learn at home.”

Since beginning her literacy journey, Silvia’s skills have improved. She also started her own hair braiding business. Her newly-acquired ability to read and write allows her to reply to client text messages and answer their questions. Silvia also says she’s a more confident parent.

So what’s next for Silvia?

“I want to get my GED and write a book,” she grinned. “I have so many things in my head and I’ve never been able to explain them before. But now that I’m learning to read and write – I want to create my own novel, filled with my own thoughts.”

"Through the support of companies like State Farm, Literacy Advance is making a difference," said Program Director Kathryn Bauchelle. "With its assistance, we are able to reach out, help students in need and change lives."

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