Melvina's Story

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dear Fond du Lac Literacy:

I grew up in Chicago and mostly lived with my grandmother. School was all right for me but I didn't really understand a lot of what they taught. I didn't get the help I should have. They just kept passing me and eventually I dropped out.

Many years later, I tried to get my GED at MPTC. The teachers in the SSC thought I'd like to try the 5.09 HSED. I love coming to class! I have been getting the help I need from my teacher, Miss Annette. I have come a long way and am proud to say I have earned my HSED!

Thanks to the Fond du Lac Literacy Program and my tutors Mary and Marie and all those that helped me study in all areas of getting my HSED. I had one goal in mind and I stuck with it and achieved my goal. I'm so proud of myself! Moraine Park Technical College and the Fond du Lac Literacy Program are there for people who want to earn a high school diploma. If I can do it, you all can do it, too!


Melvina Baines


Amy's story

In 5 years as a FDLLS student, Amy has improved her reading, spelling and math abilities. Her biggest success has been "moving into her own apartment and becoming a certified childcare worker".  Amy's love is working with children and plans to continue her studying in early childhood education.

Most recently Amy completed a 6 week cooking class instructed by Moraine Park and Agnesian Healthcare Chefs.  Amy was one of their star students and helped demonstrate making some of the meals. Amy shares, "I love it that I am learning to cook different foods!"

The class also helped Amy with the goal to budget her money and spend less on take-out food. Her efforts paid off, she was able to take a trip to Disney World in Florida, and she visited Universal Studio, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Fantasy Sea World!

We are very proud of Amy and thankful to her tutors Sandra S, Steve M, and Marie S.


Francisco's story

“I remember how hard [it] was when I did come from Mexico, just knowing 4 words: chicken, sandwich, milk and taxi,” Francisco recalls.  He was born in Mexico and served in the Mexican Army for 5 years before coming to the United States. As a student with FDL Literacy he now feels more comfortable talking with people in English, going to the store and communicating with his boss.  “I’m proud with myself when I look back and I see all that I get,” Francisco recalls after enrolling in FDL Literacy (FLS) in 2015. Along with the one-to-one tutoring at FLS, Francisco also attended the ELL (English Language Learner) course at Moraine Park Technical College, his goal is to return to MPTC and earn his GED.  


Marlene's story

In 4 years as a Fond du Lac Literacy Service student, Marlene has improved her English speaking, reading, and writing by 3 levels. She began the program as a level 1, she had very limited understanding of English. She could respond non-verbally or use statements and questions in simple form. Today, at a level 3 she can understand Standard English with minimal repetition and rewording and can comprehend the content of letters and forms independently.

Her biggest success has been translating for a local farm and getting a job at her son's school. Marlene knows how it feels to struggle communicating with others. She loves helping others and showing them that they can learn English and change their lives too. Marlene and her tutor, Bev, represented FLS on KFIZ radio show and also was a guest on Sunny 97 with Amber from United Way (UW) to promote the 2017 UW campaign.   Marlene has had very high motivation and continues to work toward her goal to be a certified Spanish-English translator. She is on her way to achieve that goal; the school she works for has been using her bilingual services to communicate with Spanish speaking parents.

Marlene’s story that she shared on both radio spots...

"I heard about the program from another student, she was translating for me at my son's school. I know I needed to learn English so I could talk to my son's teacher or I would always need a translator. Before I started studying English with my tutor, Bev, I felt alone; I didn't leave my house much, and had to depend on my husband. I could only have small conversations with my mother-in-law.  I didn't even know the library was 10 minutes from my house.

I can now take my son to the doctor, dentist, store and restaurants. I feel better about myself and have more confidence.  A few months ago I was in a small car accident. My first thought was, what am I going to do? Who should I call to help me?  To my surprise, I was able to talk to the other person that was involved. We decided to call the police and I talked to the police officer with no problem.  Even though it was an accident, I felt very proud that I was able to help myself."


Florencio's story

Florencio enrolled in our program in 2013 to help improve his English Language skills. He works in a predominately Spanish-speaking job and his family speaks Spanish at home, he wanted more practice speaking English.  A few years after enrolling, he started studying to become a U.S. Citizen.  With the help of an anonymous donor, he was able to apply for citizenship in May 2017.  He recalls feeling that this goal was very intimidating and too big to achieve.  A year later, in May of this year, he received his interview date for Citizenship and passed the test!  On June 14, his once unachievable goal became a reality when he took his Oath of Allegiance to the United States. 

Through the years of studying, he continued to work overtime at a Stone Quarry while raising his family with his wife. Although there were many obstacles in his busy life, he felt blessed to have an amazing tutor, Karen Lupa, who continuously encouraged him! Florencio credits much of his success to Karen; he states, “Karen taught me to believe in myself. I was proud to become a U.S. Citizen for my family and I wanted Karen to know that her efforts paid off.”  Florencio plans to continue improving his English and plans to earn his HSED.