“You changed my son’s path because you changed my path”

ImageAlice started her family early and now has 9 children. For most of her life, she focused on her kids. Recently, Alice decided that it was time to focus on herself, and came to Literacy Council of Tyler for help.

Through tears, Alice shares her story. “Sitting in class that first day, I thought about what this opportunity meant to me, and what that seat in the classroom meant to me. And that seat meant that I was going to have a better future, even at my age.”

For Alice, the day was also overwhelming. She recalls feeling very frightened, especially once she realized the class was studying Algebra. A daunting subject for many, but even more so for Alice who had not been in a classroom for 25 years.

But thanks to her teacher, Rick Swain, Alice was put at ease. She said that his love and passion for teaching shows.

“Mr. Swain broke down the lessons for me,” said Alice. “And I do say “me” because I felt like he was only teaching me, even though there were others in the classroom.”

Just 6 months have passed since that first day in class.

“I can say I don’t have the fear. I cried the other day, because I was sitting at home, working on Algebra problems and it was like drinking water. It was easy. I found it refreshing. The passion I had applied, I now got something back from it. I am not a stupid person. I am very smart. And it was that fear that made me inadequate. Mr. Swain took that fear from me, and now I feel adequate.”

Alice has passed three tests needed to obtain her GED and has two more to go. She is also enrolled in the Dual Enrollment program, meaning she is taking classes concurrently to become a licensed Physical Therapy Aide. Her motivation for pushing beyond the GED is her children, particularly her three-year-old son who has cerebral palsy.

To the volunteers, staff, board members and donors who make Literacy Council of Tyler’s programs possible, Alice says this: “You have changed my son’s path because you have changed my path. I will be 39 and I am going to be somebody, because you have given me this opportunity.”

“You have given me the tools to better my life.”