Stories: UW funding local programs helped Jennifer learn to read

Your Support Impacts LivesThis story comes courtesy of Mary Murphy with the DeSoto Literacy Council. Names are changed to protect privacy.

Jennifer had lost her family’s support and she had been living on her own for years. She had a difficult time making ends meet and was in and out of a variety of social service programs.

Many of Jennifer’s financial problems were rooted in one important obstacle: She could not read. She had trouble finding work because she had never finished high school.

Jennifer enrolled in the courses at DeSoto Literacy Council, where she learned to read and decided to take her GED and set an example for her growing child. The first time she took the test, she failed. Teachers and staff from the agency encouraged her to take the test again. She took the test again and failed repeatedly, but on her fifth effort she passed!

Jennifer now attends transitional classes and is preparing to join the workforce. She is also a part of a program called Never Give Up where she shares her experiences with others. She remembers the staff and teachers that encouraged her to get her GED and get the support she needed in her personal and academic life.

“I know there will be bumps along the way but I also know that I have a place to go when I need encouragement,” Jennifer said. “Because of DeSoto Literacy Council and United Way’s network of programs, I know it’s important to never give up on the goals in your life.”

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