Scholar Stories

First Literacy Scholars are united by their commitment to relentlessly pursuing their goals and creating opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our scholars come from around the world, from Massachusetts to Sierra Leone, and each of them has overcome significant obstacles to get to where they are today. We are proud to support these scholars as they work to change the narrative of what adult literacy looks like. The scholars listed below have been generous enough to share their stories with us. If you are looking for a full list of all recent scholars, please visit our Scholar Page.

First Literacy 2022-2023 Scholars

Catheline

Catheline

Catheline is from Haiti. In her home country she faced many challenges getting an education. Although she started school in 1968 she didn't graduate...

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Anny

Anny

Anny lost her mother to cancer when she was just 13 years old. Growing up with her father and three brothers she learned to be strong, grateful, and...

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Kimberly

Kimberly

Kimberly was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the U.S. in search of a better life and educational opportunities. She believes that...

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Hajarah

Hajarah

As a 20-year old graduate in Uganda with a bachelor's degree in Accounting, Hajarah was gaining the confidence to make decisions for herself rather...

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Juan

Juan

Juan immigrated to the U.S. in search of a better life for both himself and his parents. For much of his life he has struggled with a medical...

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Foguere

Foguere

Foguere was born in Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. to seek a better life for himself and his family. When Foguere moved to the U.S. he faced a...

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Kevin

Kevin

Kevin grew up in the Dominican Republic with his mom and siblings while his father worked in the U.S. As a child, he suffered from asthma and spent...

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Alesy

Alesy

“Deep inside me there is space where faith, hope, and gratitude bloom”. Alesy’s story starts on the island country of Cape Verde where from a young...

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Sonia

Sonia

Sonia is the youngest of nine children born in a small town in Brazil. When she was a child her father and his uncle were killed by a drunk driver....

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Maria

Maria

In 1999 Maria completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Unicerp in Patrocinio, Brazil. During college and after graduation she worked as...

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Alesy

Viktorija

Viktorija moved to the United States from Latvia and attended high school in a small town outside of Boston. At the age of 18 she moved away from a...

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Qiaomin

Qiaomin

Qiaomin is from China, where she attended college before moving to the U.S. in 2019. During the coronavirus pandemic, Qiaomin lost her part-time job...

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Alesy

Khadija

From Casablanca, Morocco, Khadija came to the United States in 2016 looking for better opportunities. She was a star student throughout all her...

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Kherrina

Kherrina

Kherrina is from Kingston, Jamaica – a city known for it’s vibrant night life and severe economic hardship. Her childhood was not easy. She grew up...

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Diana

Diana

Diana is from the Dominican Republic where much of the country lives in poverty. She is the first in her family to move to the United States looking...

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Brima

Brima

Brima is from Sierra Leone, West Africa – a country that has experienced an 11-year civil war, an Ebola virus epidemic, mudslides, flooding,...

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Yves

Yves

Yves came to the United States from Haiti in 2015. After witnessing the disastrous 2010 earthquake she realized she wanted to be a nurse and made...

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Lilian

Lilian

Lilian came to the United States with her husband and two children to get away from violence that disrupted her family in Brazil. Her first year in...

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Katia

Katia

In 2005 Katia immigrated to the United States from Brazil. She came to the U.S. in order to receive the training and financial backing necessary to...

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Julia

Julia

Julia was born and raised in East Boston. With an unconventional upbringing, she and her siblings did not attend school or see doctors. Julia’s...

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Gabriela

Gabriela

Gabriela grew up in Venezuela with a love of books inspired by her mother. Outside of her studies she worked on social projects in Caracas, attended...

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Yane

Yane

Yane faced many challenges when she arrived in the United States in 2019. She needed to balance a full-time job, care for her young son, and...

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