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Impact  >  Student Story

2023 Student Showcase

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Three DLC students are showcased in this short video and share their stories of persistence from before COVID-19 to success in 2023. Students from English for Speakers of Other Languages, Adult Literacy and Youth Achievement (Youth High School Equivalency) Programs are represented. Additional background on each student goes along with the video for those who want to learn more.  


Each of the individuals in the 2023 video have been students with the Durham Literacy Center since 2018! We believe in lifelong learning and our students are continually setting and meeting sequential goals, typified by these exemplary students.They were students before the pandemic and persisted through remote-learning. 


Hamid started with very limited English and progressively improved, ultimately becoming a student leader in our highest level English class. He recently got his first professional job in an English speaking environment!


Sarah was a pre-GED student with the Achievement Academy of Durham before they merged with the DLC in 2018. Upon returning to in-person instruction in the summer of 2022, Sarah’s English and Math skills improved to the high school level and she successfully obtained her High School Equivalency Diploma in June 2023!


Jemetrus persisted after starting and stopping multiple times due to responsibilities at work. He was matched with his current tutor in 2019 and has met with her consistently two times a week ever since. 


This video just does such a great job of demonstrating the seriousness of the work we do and how hard our students work to overcome major obstacles. Improving reading, math, and English language skills takes a lot of grit, determination, a commitment to oneself and time. 


Hamid, Sarah and Jimitrus took advantage of all the resources made available to them. They had great attendance. They did all the homework and the asynchronous studying online. Then they continued after we reopened and guess what now?


Hamid is in our highest level English class and has been with the same cohort for many years. They’re all friends from across the globe. They’ve stayed together from before the pandemic to zoom for 2 years and now on zoom with options for 3rd and 4th nights in person for conversation and monthly CCR workshops and many have advanced degrees. 

I understand there were shouts of joy and congratulations when Hamid announced his new job to his class. Now he’s using his English daily as a case worker helping refugees. Everyone looks up to Hamid.


Sarah also demonstrated tremendous perseverance and growth. She started her journey towards her goal to obtain her GED at the achievement academy and then stuck with it when they merged and moved to the DLC. Through 4 days a week of direct instruction on first in person and then online, when we returned to fully in person this year, Sarah attended daily and took a vantage of all of our expert teaching staff and resources, and now she has her High School Equivalency Diploma in hand and is eager to enroll in Cosmetology this fall. 


Jemetrus has adapted and used technology to succeed in his work as a professional, HVAC technician. He is preparing for a professional certification and has developed a strong working relationship with his volunteer tutor, Susan. Susan has learned tools and developed skills to support Jemetrus as he preps for the exam. She has also become an advocate and was able to get the state board to approve waiving the exam fee on Jemetris' behalf. He's almost ready and his confidence is soaring.

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