Your support at work: At 19 years old, William only read at a first grade level until your gifts made a difference

(Note: This story comes courtesy of Kelly Thieme with the Collierville Literacy Council. Names and images have been changed to protect privacy.)

William needed to pass an entrance exam to join the military but he had a few things holding him back – primarily his poor reading ability.

He sought help from one of United Way’s network partner agencies, the Collierville Literacy Council. William was 19 years old and had dropped out of high school in the 10th grade. After an assessment of William’s reading and writing skills, it was determined he was only reading on a 1st grade level and writing on a 2nd grade level.

“William was matched with a well-trained tutor and immediately starting showing growth and improvement in his abilities,” said an agency counselor.

Your Support Impacts LivesAfter six months of tutoring and one-to-one instruction, William showed rapid signs of change. He had progressed an extraordinary three grade levels in reading and two grade levels in writing. With further training and tutoring, his writing improved from writing sentences to composing paragraphs and then  writing descriptive essays.

“William is not only making great gains in his academics but is also motivated and inspired to continue his hard work,” said the agency counselor.

Now, William says he has finally grasped the truth that hard work can lead to  success. Today he is able to read and write at his true instructional level.

“His confidence has soared,” the counselor added. “It won’t be long before William reaches his goal of passing the military entrance exam,” his counselor said.

Your support of United Way is helping people like William everyday – people who are overcoming problems through helpful instruction and inspired work. Thanks to your support, William will be entering the military and giving back to our community and nation with a life of service, duty and honor.

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