First Literacy 2021-2022 Scholars

Here are just a few of the inspiring stories of the First Literacy 2021-2022 continuing scholars.

Bushrah

Bushrah

​Bushrah was born in Uganda. She is the oldest of five siblings and the first in her family to attend college. Her time in the U.S. has not been...

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Jocelyne

Jocelyne

Jocelyne was just 16 years old when she left her home country of Haiti. Her father did not enroll her in school when she lived in Haiti, so she made...

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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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Viktorija

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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Marie

Marie

Marie moved to the United States from Haiti with her two daughters in 2016. She moved to the United States with the hope of providing her family...

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Valentina

Valentina

Valentina is originally from Columbia. As one of six children she grew up with limited opportunities. Her parents did not attend school and often...

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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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Hanae

Hanae

Hanae came to the United States in 2016 when she got married. She studied French and graduated with a specialty in Hospitality Management from the...

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Christian

Christian

Christian grew up in a single parent household that struggled to make ends meet and was plagued with alcoholism. With the help of public aid,...

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Viktorija

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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Doris

Doris

Doris is from the Central American country of Guatemala. She arrived in the United States when she was just 15 years old. She didn’t speak any...

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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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Mark

Mark

When Mark suddenly lost his father in July of 2020, his life was turned upside down. He grew up watching his father work hard every day, and wanted...

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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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Karen

Karen

When Karen came to the United States from Columbia, she knew that to succeed and understand this new culture she needed to learn the language. Karen...

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Damus

Damus

Damus came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends,...

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First Literacy 2020-2021 Scholars

Here are just a few of the inspiring stories of the First Literacy 2020-2021 continuing scholars.

Nicole

Nicole

Nicole was a journalist in her home country of Haiti for 20 years. She was forced to leave Haiti because of volatile political situations bearing...

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Viktorija

Rosene

Rosene came to the United States from Haiti with the dream of attending college and creating a better life for her and her family. When she arrived...

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Thi Kim

Thi Kim

Thi Kim immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 2017. Not speaking English was a major obstacle to Thi Kim’s goal of attending university....

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Julio

Julio

Julio faced serious challenges in high school including the loss of his grandmother, forcing him to live alone. Julio needed to work full time in...

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Jennifer

Jennifer

Jennifer was born and raised in Puerto Rico and arrived in the United States in 2018. Jennifer has worked extremely hard since arriving in the...

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Javier

Javier

Javier was born in Paterson, New Jersey, has lived in New York City and now lives in Fitchburg MA. Javier was raised in a family that did not value...

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Luis

Luis

Luis attended elementary school in his small village in El Salvador, but high school and university required travel to a bigger town, a trip that...

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Adriana

Adriana

After waiting for almost ten years for her green card, Adriana was finally able to come to the United States from El Salvador. With business...

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Marie

Marie

Marie came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends, found work...

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Jocelyne

Jocelyne

Jocelyne was just 16 years old when she left her home country of Haiti. Her father did not enroll her in school when she lived in Haiti, so she made...

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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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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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Karen

Karen

When Karen came to the United States from Columbia, she knew that to succeed and understand this new culture she needed to learn the language. Karen...

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Damus

Damus

Damus came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends,...

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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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Joel

Joel

Joel came to the United States in 1999, in search of a better future. In his home country of Peru, he faced national unrest, economic depression,...

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Ariela

Ariela

Ariela moved from Cape Verde to Lisbon, Portugal with her single mother when she was fifteen. She struggled with the transition, dropped out of...

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First Literacy 2019-2020 Scholars

Here are just a few of the inspiring stories of the First Literacy 2019-2020 continuing scholars.

Viktorija

Oumaima

Oumaima was always talented in math and languages, learning English as a third language at the age of twelve. Unfortunately, cultural restrictions...

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Luis

Luis

Luis attended elementary school in his small village in El Salvador, but high school and university required travel to a bigger town, a trip that...

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Izabella

Izabella

Born in Brazil, Izabella was left with her grandparents when her single mother went abroad to work. She was seventeen and a sophomore in high school...

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Livanny

Livanny

Livanny grew up in the Dominican Republic where she graduated from high school in the top five percent and served in the volunteer military service....

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Tatiana Jean

Tatiana Jean

Though Tatiana lost her parents early in Haiti, she studied, worked hard, and completed high school and a university business degree. Over the next...

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Axel

Axel

After years of educational challenges, Axel found the JVS Adult Diploma Pathway, where, with his own hard work and the dedication and patience of...

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Geraldine

Geraldine

At seven, Geraldine suffered severe burns in a fire at her home outside Lima, Peru. After a year at a local hospital she was among the most critical...

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Stephan

Stephan

Stephan, a native of Haiti, knew he wanted to be a nurse when he was six years old. Later in North Miami Beach High, he volunteered for health...

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Vu

Vu

Vu arrived in the United States from Vietnam in August 2014 with his wife, son, and daughter. He studied English at St. Mark’s Community Education...

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Allexandre

Allexandre

Alex is an artist from Cape Verde where he earned a degree in ecotourism. He was an air traffic controller before emigrating to the US to escape an...

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Adriana

Adriana

After waiting for almost ten years for her green card, Adriana was finally able to come to the United States from El Salvador. With business...

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Marie

Marie

Marie came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends, found work...

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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...

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Jocelyne

Jocelyne

Jocelyne was just 16 years old when she left her home country of Haiti. Her father did not enroll her in school when she lived in Haiti, so she made...

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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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Karen

Karen

When Karen came to the United States from Columbia, she knew that to succeed and understand this new culture she needed to learn the language. Karen...

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Damus

Damus

Damus came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends,...

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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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Ariela

Ariela

Ariela moved from Cape Verde to Lisbon, Portugal with her single mother when she was fifteen. She struggled with the transition, dropped out of...

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First Literacy 2018-2019 Scholars

Here are just a few of the inspiring stories of the First Literacy 2018-2019 continuing scholars.

Jennifer

Jennifer

Jennifer is the first Colombian-American in her family, and the first to pursue a college education. In high school she was a talented violinist but...

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Viktorija

Oumaima

Oumaima was always talented in math and languages, learning English as a third language at the age of twelve. Unfortunately, cultural restrictions...

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Priscilla

Priscilla

Priscilla finished middle school in Hong Kong before emigrating to the United States in 1980. When she arrived in the U.S. she went right to work at...

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Viktorija

Dimas

When Dimas was 18 years old, he arrived in the United States from El Salvador with his family. Unable to speak English he could only find work with...

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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...

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Viktorija

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Vu

Vu

Vu arrived in the United States from Vietnam in August 2014 with his wife, son, and daughter. He studied English at St. Mark’s Community Education...

read more
Allexandre

Allexandre

Alex is an artist from Cape Verde where he earned a degree in ecotourism. He was an air traffic controller before emigrating to the US to escape an...

read more
Adriana

Adriana

After waiting for almost ten years for her green card, Adriana was finally able to come to the United States from El Salvador. With business...

read more
Jocelyne

Jocelyne

Jocelyne was just 16 years old when she left her home country of Haiti. Her father did not enroll her in school when she lived in Haiti, so she made...

read more
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...

read more
Karen

Karen

When Karen came to the United States from Columbia, she knew that to succeed and understand this new culture she needed to learn the language. Karen...

read more
Damus

Damus

Damus came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends,...

read more

First Literacy 2017-2018 and prior Scholars

Here are just a few of the inspiring stories of the First Literacy 2017-2018 and prior continuing scholars.

Wilfrix

Wilfrix

Wilfrix grew up in Haiti. As a child he was forced to stay home from school for nine years because his family did not have enough money to pay for...

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Viktorija

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...

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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...

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Viktorija

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

read more
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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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