Faces of Literacy, Our Story, Our Students

Posted on Oct 20, 2016 in General

Students of The Literacy Center were honored for their significant achievements at an annual signature event: Faces of Literacy, Our Story, Our Students on Oct. 4th at Muhlenberg College.

Muhlenberg’s Wescoe School of Continuing Education, King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC and Campbell, Rappold & Yurasits LLP were co-sponsors for the evening. The event which originated in 2013, features a photographic exhibition of Faces of Literacy recipients created by Marco Calderon, himself, a former student at the center, now an accomplished professional photographer who also serves as a member of the board of directors.

The three students, David Zinni, Eleana Turcios and Tiffany Soto overcame challenging obstacles, persevered through extreme difficulties, and are ultimately leading successful lives, in part through the education and assistance they received from The Literacy Center. Each story is a compelling example of the power of education, personal determination and strength of character.

 

David Zinni

David Zinni

Trials and tribulations in his life brought David from Conshohocken to The Allentown Rescue Mission in 2006. While homeless and living at the Allentown Rescue Mission, David connected with an educational mentor from The Literacy Center. Through hard work and determination he was able to earn his GED, and shortly thereafter began classes at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), receiving his Associates Degree from LCCC. He now serves as the Program Coordinator for The Allentown Rescue Mission, helping people who have walked similar paths as himself.

 

Eleana Turcios

Eleana Turcios

Eleana , a native of Honduras began her studies in Newark, NJ. Due to responsibilities at home her education was curtailed and as a single mother with a full time job, her first priority was her family. In 2001 Eleana relocated to Allentown and enrolled in ESL classes at The Literacy Center. She mastered the intermediate level and began searching for meaningful employment. With skills in exterior and interior painting she gained valuable experience but found herself a victim of discrimination as a woman working in a man’s world. In 2007, she took a leap of faith and made the decision to open her own business, ECT Painting. She is now the proud owner of her own thriving enterprise.

 

Tiffany Soto

Tiffany Soto

Tiffany spent most of her early life in Brooklyn. As a teenager she left home and arrived in Allentown. Enrolled in high school and the mother of two children under the age of five, it was difficult to provide for her children, work, and attend high school. She chose to drop out of high school but was determined to have a career. She eventually enrolled in The Literacy Center’s GED classes, recognizing that education was a key step to her future career path. Tiffany was an excellent and highly motivated student, obtaining her GED. Within days after graduation she began searching post-secondary education options. She enrolled at Lincoln Technical Institute’s Medical Assistant Program. At the top of her class, Tiffany enjoys the challenges and diversity of the medical field and will graduate in December 2016.

Faces of Literacy: Our Story, Our Students

Faces of Literacy is a unique event highlighting The Literacy Center and the remarkable accomplishments of amazing students. We firmly believe that helping adults improve their literacy education not only opens the door for better employment, but for a happier, more fulfilling life.

Supporters of literacy education attended the inspiring event, including Congressman Charlie Dent, Avery Smith, Esq., president of the TLC board, Muhlenberg President John Williams, Executive Director MaryAnn Przekurat, Alan and Mary Salinger, Warren & Lynn Armstrong, Judy and Dr. Alan Morrison, Marci Ronald, Brenda Truhe, Jane Hudak, Dean of the Wescoe School, Dr. Nichola & Geoff Gutgold, Marcy McKinney, Rev. William & Linda Maxon, AJ Lemheney and David Sommers. Additional event sponsors included Campbell, Rappold & Yurasits, King, Spry, Herman, Freund and Faul. Music was provided by The Ian Cunningham Trio.