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!!
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).
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!