Personal Stories

  • Boutaina Lahlou: Access – Youth and Education

    Boutaina Lahlou: Access - Youth and Education

    Boutaina Lahlou: Access - Youth and Education
     

    Although Boutaina Lahlou spoke little English when she moved to the U.S. from Morocco five years ago, she  could read it perfectly.  There was just one problem:  “I didn’t understand anything I was reading,” says Lahlou, 26, of Westland.

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  • Tulsha Morsaw: Another Chance

    Tulsha Morsaw: Another Chance

    Tulsha Morsaw: Another Chance
     

    Tulsha Morsaw has paid a heavy price for dropping out of the 10th grade at Henry Ford High School in Detroit.

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  • Lisa Sivanov: Dominican Literacy Center

    Lisa Sivanov: Dominican Literacy Center

    Lisa Sivanov: Dominican Literacy Center
     

    Lisa Sivanov, 43, takes two buses from her Detroit home to get to the Dominican Literacy Center on the city’s east side to polish her reading, math and computer skills.

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  • Vickie Wilbourn: Oakland Literacy Council

    Vickie Wilbourn: Oakland Literacy Council

    Vickie Wilbourn: Oakland Literacy Council
     

    Vickie Wilbourn wanted to write a letter thanking the family of the liver donor who saved her life.

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  • John Rumbley: Beyond Basics

    John Rumbley: Beyond Basics

    John Rumbley: Beyond Basics
     

    John Rumbley didn’t know he inspired anyone. Then one day, his young cousin copied his decision to go to Beyond Basics for reading help.

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  • Jim Nicholas: Macomb Literacy Partners

    Jim Nicholas: Macomb Literacy Partners

    Jim Nicholas: Macomb Literacy Partners
     

    When he was a child, reading was secondary to survival for Jim Nicholas, 30, of Sterling Heights. Shuttling back and forth between New York and Michigan with his sick mother left him little time or motivation to go to school.

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  • Luvanis O’Neal: Mercy Education Project

    Luvanis O’Neal: Mercy Education Project


    Luvanis O’Neal: Mercy Education Project

    Thirty-eight-year-old Luvanis O’Neal kept her secret for more than 20 years by hiding in silence behind a sweet, demure smile. It was easier being quiet. Nobody asked questions of the shy girl.

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  • Willis Allen: Siena Literacy Center

    Willis Allen: Siena Literacy Center

    Willis Allen: Siena Literacy Center
     

    Willis Allen, 68, came to Detroit from Mississippi in 1964 in search of a job. And for most of his life, he worked hard to hide the fact that he couldn’t read.

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