If you are doubtful about the power of basic education in an adult’s life, you need only examine the literacy journey of Jeremiah Rivera.
Two years ago, Jeremiah, a 21-year-old Manhattanite, was unsure of where his life was headed. However, he was sure about one thing: he wanted more than a minimum-wage job or the tenuousness of a bleak future.
He also knew that to change the course of his life, he needed to complete his basic education. To do so, he registered in Literacy Partners’ General Educational Development (GED) program at Henry Street Settlement, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where he studied with instructor Steven Clarke, among other instructors and volunteer tutors.
“For nearly 40 years, Literacy Partners has helped thousands of New Yorkers learn the basic reading, writing and math skills needed to succeed in day-to-day living. Through successful collaborations with major corporations, community partners and benefactors, LP offers small, welcoming classes taught by credentialed teachers, supported by enthusiastic, highly trained, volunteer tutors. LP is the only nationally accredited adult literacy program serving NYC.”
With LP’s guidance and his own determination, Jeremiah passed the GED test. “I was one of the students who took the work home,” he explained. “I knew I didn’t want to stay in the same place forever…I wanted to move forward.”
Jeremiah has not rested on his laurels. In 2010, after obtaining his GED, which boosted his self-assurance along with his knowledge, he began participating in “an internship program with the IT department at Henry Street Settlement.” He passed the “Cisco Certification” course and “received a Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA, A+ certification that validates foundation-level knowledge and skills required for a career in PC support.” This particular certification requires recipients to have a 9.0-reading level and either a H.S. diploma or GED.
Sometimes, Jeremiah returns to LP to help tutor former classmates. Currently, he is on the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)’s waiting list. His plans also include enrolling in college to study forensic computing.
It is fair to say that Jeremiah Rivera is an LP success story.
Look around the city; there are four decades of LP success stories. Through LP’s adult literacy programs, many adults have been able to defeat their illiteracy and brighten their future.
For more information about LP, visit www.literacypartners.org.