I have been acquainted with the excellent work of Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services for over ten years. I have always found the agency passionate in its efforts to raise literacy levels in even the most challenging populations. People I have introduced to their services have all been welcomed and encouraged to set and reach goals to advance their educations and increase their role as productive citizens. My people have gone on to college courses and been prepared for entry level professional careers. MA is an outstanding assett to our community.
I was invited to give a presentation on "Effective Listening" for the teachers and volunteers at Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services last year. Wow! It was a fantastic experience. The lead person that I worked with was very professional, organized, and a pleasure to meet. The actual day-long training session, in which I was a part, was also well planned and skillfully carried out. The best part: The participants at the session were incredibly friendly, enthusiastic, and very dedicated to their work in assisting adults develop their literacy skills. Overall, a very positive experience!!
I first became involved with Milwaukee Achiever more than 10 years ago as a volunteer tutor. I worked with many wonderful learners who shared their life experiences with me as they mastered their English skills. Milwaukee Achiever is one of those wonderful organizations that visibly improves the life of others and that compelled me to continue doing more. Since that beginning, I have volunteered computer services and have been a board member for a few years.
A big reason for my ongoing support of Milwaukee Achiever is the impact it has on people's lives. Learners come to the organization with a desire to improve their lives. Milwaukee Achiever connects those learners with trained volunteer tutors and uses its proven methods to dramatically improve their literacy skills. I am a bit of a numbers person and the success numbers from Milwaukee Achiever compare favorably with other organizations.
There is an impact beyond just the numbers though. The quality of life in my community is improved when every person is able to contribute in a meaningful way. The skills learned at Milwaukee Achiever help many persons make a more meaningful contribution to the community.
As a career counselor at a college, I have the privilege of helping my school’s students find employment every day. Even for students who have a college degree or are working towards one, it can be difficult to find employment in the current job market. The challenge for individuals who don’t have a high school diploma or who are not proficient in essential skills (math, reading, English language, etc.) is even greater. Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services makes it possible for low-income residents in our city to further their education and develop skills they need to secure employment.
I first became acquainted with Milwaukee Achiever a year ago, when the organization participated in the volunteer fair at the college at which I work. I was so impressed by the breadth of their programming and services that I began volunteering there, myself. Since then, I’ve worked with two adult learners: a young woman, who had a high school diploma, yet could not pass the math proficiency exam to get into a CNA training program at a local technical school; and a mother of two, who was hitting a glass ceiling at work without a high school diploma and some college-level training. The tutoring they’ve received at Milwaukee Achiever is making it possible for them to pursue career opportunities they might not otherwise be able to and to envision more for themselves and their families.
As a volunteer tutor, I’ve received support and training form the Milwaukee Achiever staff in the form of an initial orientation and tutor observation, learner progress reporting, and semi-annual tutor training events. You don’t have to be a K-12 teacher to volunteer here; the staff provide you with educational materials and a study plan customized to the adult learner to which you’re assigned.
At a time when so many people are unemployed/underemployed and companies report a skills gap in our local workforce, an organization like Milwaukee Achiever is essential to help our city’s residents prepare for jobs of the 21st century. The staff can’t do it alone, though. This organization relies on the help of volunteer tutors, and I’d encourage anyone with a passion for learning and 2 hours a week to contact a site coordinator (www.milwaukeeachiever.org/index.php/contacts).
Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit that serves the Havenwoods Neighborhood in revitalization and asset maintenance efforts, is so glad to partner with Milwaukee Achiever. They not only work with adult literacy, but provide job skills training, something helpful and essential to our neighborhood which has a large industrial quarter.
Wonderful organization that is known for their committment to Milwaukee and to their adult learners. I'm honored to serve as a volunteer with Milwaukee Achiever!