Third Place Finalist

TARRANT LITERACY COALITION | FORT WORTH, TX


About the Finalist:

"Since 2009, Fort Worth, Texas’s Tarrant Literacy Coalition has been empowering adult learners, and those who teach them, with high quality literacy services and resources so businesses can hire, people can work, and families can thrive. Improving the quality and increasing the quantity of literacy instruction in and around Tarrant County is central to everything we do at Tarrant Literacy Coalition.

We know that assistance to local literacy providers will ignite a passion for literacy, a commitment to resourcefulness, and a desire to serve more people effectively. By launching new programs and improving the quality of existing programs, the Coalition works to provide new opportunities for determined adult learners to attend classes and prepare them for productive and meaningful lives as literate citizens."


Website: www.tarrantliteracycoalition.org




JUDGING CRITERIA


VIDEO | PHOTOS | STORIES





Flor came to Tarrant Literacy Coalition in 2012 to study for the GED exam. Having completed the highest level of English language classes, she was determined to study for and pass the high school equivalency exam, so she could go to college. She had attended other GED programs but had not found a class that met her needs. Spanish was her first language and although she had attended the ESL classes and learned to read, write and speak English, she was still uncertain of her abilities and she struggled in class.

At our Project BEST class, she met volunteer teachers who had been trained through our Literacy and Learning programs, which were sponsored by United Way. These dedicated volunteers knew how to work with adults who needed to learn to pass the high school equivalency exam.

Each week, Flor attended classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Her progress was slow in the beginning. She was not just a student, she was also a wife and a mother to three children and she worked full-time. However, she persisted.

Flor watched as other students, younger than she, enrolled in the class and graduated. In time, she became discouraged and thought about quitting. She was worried that she would never pass the test. However, the Executive Director reminded her that she was not only a student in the class, she was a role model and a mentor to some of the younger students.

She continued to attend class each week. She worked hard in class and she studied at home, determined to pass the reading, writing, math, science and social studies exams that make up the 7-hour GED test.

Finally, the day came for her to take her test at downtown campus of Tarrant County College. After several years of studying, Flor passed all five exams in one day!

Her graduation day was very joyful, but Flor knew it was not an end, it was just the beginning. She had a dream of becoming a real estate agent to help others achieve the dream of home-ownership. Flor enrolled in classes at Tarrant County College and began attending college while working full-time and continuing to raise her children with her husband. She also attended classes to improve her reading and writing skills, because she knew she would need those skills as a realtor.

Becoming a resident of the US was the next step. Flor did not have that designation when she first enrolled in our classes. In the spring of 2017, Flor received her permanent resident card, the first step to becoming a US Citizen. She also completed her classes at Tarrant County College and enrolled in a short class to prepare her for state and national real estate exams. Once she passed those tests, Flor was accepted as a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty in Fort Worth. In January 2018, Flor was presented with the Fast Track Award as a new agent.

Since joining KellerWilliams, Flor has already helped many families find their dream home. She is a very busy woman. She is a mother of three and, with her husband, is active in her church. Flor has just been appointed to the board of directors of Tarrant Literacy Coalition, where she hopes to give back to the organization that did so much to help her just a few short years ago. She loves telling her story to inspire others. As Flor likes to tell our Project BEST students, if she can do it, they can too!



Learn more about other finalists:

Learn More