Jersey City Library Literacy Program Shines at LVA’s Literacy for Life Conference

Cristian Rodriguez receives award for Student Excellence

On April 20, 2013, staff, students and tutors attended the Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey annual Literacy for Life conference at Mercer County College. Cristian Rodriguez accepted an award for Student Excellence. Since joining the program in June 2012, Cristian passed his GED, obtained his driver’s license, enrolled at Hudson County Community College, obtained full-time employment, and is being trained to become a Deacon in his church. This is quite a turnaround for Cristian, whose life was headed in the opposite direction. After passing the GED, which he struggled with for a few years, his confidence escalated and he has become a productive citizen in society. Eighteen individuals represented the Jersey City Library Literacy Program at the conference.

Nationally syndicated broadcaster and author of the award-winning memoir, Most Unlikely to Succeed, Nelson Lauver spoke at the 2013 Literacy for Life Conference, and shared his keynote, “When You Get Knocked Down,” a thought-provoking and entertaining journey into the extraordinary potential within us all. Using his gift as a storyteller, Nelson shared his own story, as well as those of other “ordinary” Americans who refused to give up.

After years of struggling as a functionally illiterate adult, an amazing chance encounter and the utterance of one word – dyslexia – changed Lauver’s life.  He finally learned to read and write and set out on a journey that few would have imagined.

Cristian Rodriguez received his LVA award for Student Excellence from Nelson Lauver – a tribute stemming from one amazing literacy role model, to another.

Yasmine Affifi, an ESL student who completed the Program last year, has been accepted into a school through the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Division to study medical assistance. Rokhayatou Camara, also an ESL student, is featured in one of the photographs.

 

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