We’re celebrating 50 years of dedicated service at our Anniversary Bash! Join us November 15th for delicious food provided by Black Betty’s Bistro, remarks from U.S. Senator Angus King and LearningWorks alum Liz Leddy, and an exhibition of photographs from our 50 Stories Project.
Teyonda was our English Language + Literacy Director from 2011-2017. She was equally at home in the board room presenting, in the classroom teaching adult English Language Learners, and in the elementary school hallways, where students referred to her affectionately as “Miss T.”
Constant Kabuyenge, an immigrant from Burundi, began working with other new Mainers by volunteering as an assistant teacher, and then lead teacher, in LearningWorks’ English Language + Literacy program. He was inspired by how courageously students were fighting to learn English without complaining about their similar fates.
When Karla Salamanca graduated from Portland High School in 2016, she knew she wanted to attend college, but she decided to take a gap year to learn more about herself. She became an AmeriCorps member and joined the LearningWorks team.
Susan Abt is one of the many individual donors who make our free services for the community possible. “It imbues me with a feeling of relief to know that there is support available for young people who may not have succeeded in the education system or who have had run-ins with the law,” she says.
When Missouri was a kindergartner at Reiche Elementary, she participated in a LearningWorks summer Story Camp for six weeks. She struggled with comprehension, but being able to participate in one of our free literacy programs helped her get the best possible start in school.
Texas Instruments employee David Tucker volunteers in our LearningWorks Afterschool (LWAS) program two afternoons each month. “I am privileged to help young students begin to reveal their potential as creative problem solvers,” he says.
West End resident Emily Thielmann started her career at LearningWorks as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in the summer of 2009, coordinating volunteers and starting a mentoring program for adult English Language Leaners and Youth Building Alternatives students.
“LearningWorks plays a key role in finding and training volunteers like me and matching us up with students like Fatima who we can help,” says Andy Meyer, Residential Program Manager at Efficiency Maine. “Thanks to LearningWorks, I have found meaningful volunteer work, and Fatima has been able to advance her career.”
Joe Dubail, a current student in our Youth Building Alternatives program, is making the most of opportunities that eluded him in high school. “I stopped going to school when I was a senior. I was not motivated because I was having a difficult time in class, and I didn’t have goals for my future.”
Arnaud arrived from Congo after being forced to separate from his wife and children due to political unrest. Despite having degrees in both chemistry and petroleum engineering, Arnaud is currently unable to work in Maine. Through our English Language + Literacy Program, he is gaining proficiency in hopes of reuniting his family and re-establishing his career.
Derek Pierce is the principal of Casco Bay High School. His commitment to innovative, inclusive, and student centered learning have been a perfect match for our Service Works program, which gives kids in trouble at school a chance to reflect on their mistakes and make amends.
“If not for YBA, I would probably be at home doing nothing with my life,” says Grace Wiley, a current student in LearningWorks’ Youth Building Alternatives Program. A talented artist, Grace has a painting in exhibit at Regional High School Art Show at Casco Bay Artisans Fine Art Gallery in Portland.
Othniel became a student in our English Language & Literacy Program in September 2016, shortly after arriving in Portland from the Democratic Republic of Congo. His uncle told him that there was a place nearby where he could learn English for free, and since then, Othniel has dedicated himself to becoming proficient in speaking and comprehending English.
Liz Leddy’s resume is impressive. She’s a two time national Golden Gloves Champion; owner of her own hair styling business, and a personal trainer. Back in the mid-1990s, this kind of success and stability was something that seemed far beyond Liz’s reach. After dropping out of high school, Liz found herself homeless. She struggled with […]
Over twenty years ago, Wilfreid Plalum found himself in the right place at the right time. He was 20 years old, and had just arrived in Maine with his family from South Sudan. “I was playing soccer with some friends across the street from LearningWorks, when two staff people stopped over and informed us of a new program at LearningWorks called Youth Building Alternatives.”
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: LearningWorks has received grants totaling nearly $1.5 million over three years to support after-school and summer learning programs in Portland and Biddeford.
FORECASTER: LearningWorks, which started out as a grassroots neighborhood advocacy group 50 years ago, has grown into an organization dedicated to helping young people on the margins reach their full potential.