First Literacy Scholars 2017-2018 and prior

Lana

Lana

In 2005, Lana emigrated from China to Boston. While educated in China and able to read and write a little, she spoke no English at all and found the language very difficult. Lana enrolled in an English language program that received First Literacy funding and rapidly...

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Junying (Ethan)

Junying (Ethan)

When Junying moved to the US from China, he had very poor English language skills, but that did not stop him from trying to achieve his dreams. He worked at a Chinese restaurant as a food delivery driver while taking English classes. Now a confident English speaker,...

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Lana

Marie Regine

As a mother of a disabled daughter in Haiti, Marie needed to leave her home country to get the services needed for her daughter. Marie’s positive attitude and enthusiasm for learning has helped her address life’s obstacles to successfully complete her first two...

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Patrick

Patrick

Patrick was born and raised in Cameroon where education is very expensive. When his mother passed away in 2008, Patrick left school to work so his brothers could go to school. In the United States Patrick continued to work full time as a parking attendant to help...

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Eliene

Eliene

When Eliene moved to the US from Brazil, she spoke no English. As a mother with three children and a husband who worked, it was hard to find English classes that fit their busy schedule. Eliene taught herself English and was accepted to Northern Essex Community...

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Girlene

Girlene

As a mother of two boys, Girlene came to the United States looking for a better life for her family. She did not go to college in her home country of Brazil because it was too expensive, but it has always been her dream. Girlene worked hard to learn English to apply...

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Diandra

Diandra

Growing up in Boston, life was challenging for Diandra. She dropped out of high school at age 15 due to a challenging family dynamic and ten years later Diandra returned to school to complete her high school credentials. Diandra has now completed a successful first...

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Sherita

Sherita

A single mother of two young children from Jamaica, Sherita was determined to end the cycle of poverty for her family. She completed a successful first year at Bunker Hill Community College and is working toward her goal of applying to Bunker Hill’s nursing program....

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Kamala

Kamala

Kamala moved to the US from Thailand in 2014 to care for her ill stepfather. After caring for many sick family members in both the U.S. and Thailand, Kamala decided she wanted to become a nurse. Now in her second year of the pre-nursing program at Mass Bay Community...

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Dora

Dora

Dora graduated from high school in Guatemala and earned a degree in elementary education, but when she arrived in the US with no English language skills, it was as if she had no schooling at all. Her son, then 19 and going to college himself, encouraged her to go back...

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Lauretta

Lauretta

First Literacy scholarship recipient Lauretta Brennan spoke about her experience as an adult learner at the 27th Annual Corporate Spelling Bee. We invited Lauretta to speak because she has been an inspiration to our First Literacy family since she was awarded her...

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Vitalis

Vitalis

Vitalis attended high school in Nigeria and moved to the United States in March 2009. When he arrived in the U.S., he needed to take the GED exam because he didn’t have an original copy of his transcript, as required for registration at the University of...

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Mohamed

Mohamed

Mohamed is a hardworking widower and father who escaped the civil war in his home country of Sierra Leone. He is now heavily involved in the community and works at the Ritz Carlton Hotel where he has won the prestigious “Five Star” employee of the year twice. Mohamed...

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Yamileth

Yamileth

Born in Colombia and raised in Venezuela by a single mother, Yamileth was in her fourth year of college in Venezuela when a family tragedy brought her to the United States. Despite not knowing English, she worked hard for years running her late father’s convenience...

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Ciro

Ciro

Ciro fled from his home in Venezuela after being threatened because of his work documenting human rights violations. He became a political asylee in the U.S. and enrolled at El Centro Del Cardenal in Boston while working as a digital media editor, multimedia...

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Judelande

Judelande

Judelande grew up in Haiti as the fourth of nine children. Due to financial constraints, Judelande, who had always wanted to attend college, was only able to complete high school. She moved to the United States when she was pregnant with her daughter and became...

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