The Literacy Texas Annual Awards celebrate just some of the amazing adult students and literacy volunteers we all have the pleasure of working alongside.
Nominations open in the new year and close some time in the spring. Check the main Annual Awards page for current details.
2022 Student Achievement - ABE/HSE
Chau Hua | Neuhaus Education Center
Chau’s story is one of a child growing up in a multi-generational family, all living together in a small house or apartment. She went through some rough times in her life during her adolescence, but found a career as a hairdresser as a young adult.
Although she has been a small business owner, having her own salon for quite a few years, she still yearned for the knowledge she felt she had missed in school during her youth. Chau started taking literacy courses at Neuhaus Education Center a few years ago, and during that time, she was also reading different books of interest at home to increase her vocabulary and comprehension skills.
After making the decision to start taking courses at the college level, Chau was determined to choose the college or university that would meet her needs. She took the time to visit different campuses, meeting with different people to discuss her plans and ask questions. After choosing the University of Houston-Downtown, Chau chose to take a course in writing, knowing that it was an area of weakness that she wanted to improve. Chau’s drive to learn is evident in her attendance and participation in class. She has become a life-long learner who recently completed a course in writing at University of Houston-Downtown.
2022 Student Achievement - ESOL
Ilknur Dundar | Literacy Lubbock
Ilknur Dundar came to the United States from Turkey with the dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant. She has the correct university degree in Turkey, but her credentials are not accepted in the United States, so she must enroll in a program in the United States.
She would like to apply to Texas Tech University to begin her training. To become a Nurse Practitioner, one must be a registered nurse, hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, complete a graduate master’s or doctoral nursing program, and pass a national board certification exam. And to enroll at Texas Tech, Ilknur must pass her English Proficiency Test.
Even though she had studied English previously, she needed to practice speaking English which led her to Literacy Lubbock’s ESL Program. As her English improved, she still remembers what it was like to learn English. She didn’t always come up with what she wanted and worried she would say the wrong words. But she hasn’t given up and realizes the best way to improve her speaking English is to practice and never to be afraid of mistakes.
Ilknur is more confident in herself now because she studies every week. With her improved English writing and speaking skills, Ilknur is closer to her goal of understanding everything and speaking to everyone, and of being a nurse practitioner in the United States.
2022 Volunteer Instructor Excellence
Linda Bryant | Alpine Public Library
Linda was nominated for this award by Donald Wetterauer, the director of Alpine Public Library, where Linda has been a volunteer instructor for 9 years.
In that time, she has helped 17 students achieve their US citizenship, and two of her former HSE students are now in college. She has given countless hours to her students and is dedicated to both excellence as an instructor and to student success.
Linda keeps her classes student-centered, helping them to focus on their personal goals and to see their learning through that lens. She follows up with students even after classes end and stays in touch to continue her support and encouragement. Alpine Public Library is pleased to honor a dedicated volunteer instructor!
2022 Volunteer Excellence
Latrent Childs | BakerRipley
“Latrent lifts others while he rises.”
This beautiful accolade is from Diana Delgado, who nominated Latrent for the 2022 Volunteer Excellence Award. She goes on to say: “Latrent’s association with BakerRipley began when he took TechBridge classes. He volunteered to support the career test drives for coding, one of the two career offering paths during BakerRipley’s first Bridge. His advanced computer skills and his eagerness to support his classmates were invaluable for the success of the program. He rapidly became a leader in the group and a role model among the students.
He passed his tests and obtained his CompTIA certification, but some of his classmates struggled to obtain theirs. Latrent created a study group. It was a success! With his support, many of his classmates obtained their CompTIA certification.
Coming full circle, Latrent now teaches CompTIA Fundamentals to the current Tech Bridge cohort and helps new students transition into the CompTIA A+ training.
Latrent’s goal when he joined the Tech Bridge was to get his CompTIA certification and obtain a better job in the IT field. He did that. Then he changed the lives of everyone around him along the way and now, the student is the teacher.”
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is to treat others how you want to be treated, and that is what I believed I was doing. The term “volunteer” was never on my mind, but is it really on any of our minds? We’re just on a road to reach our goals and lending a hand to anyone on that same path that may struggle, saying “let’s get there, together”.
I want to thank all involved staff, organizations, and volunteers. You are a bigger inspiration than you know. Most of all, to everyone, let’s stay motivated, stay encouraged, and continue supporting our community.