Volunteer Voice

As a literacy volunteer, you are part of a dedicated, compassionate and creative community that is 3,655 strong. These are your stories.

Have a story of your own you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it! Simply fill out this form to share your voice, and we’ll highlight your experience in our monthly e-newsletter for adult literacy volunteers and here in the Volunteer Voice blog.

If you walk through the doors of Open Door Learning Center- Northside before class begins, you’ll be immediately struck by the hustle and bustle of the program. You can see students working on math skills, Rosetta Stone or working on perfecting their resumes with a little help from the coordinators or volunteers. You can also see relatives and friends coming in to learn together. Open Door Learning Center - Northside is a busy place where both volunteers and students alike seem to be in good spirits.

My First Time Away from Home

Written by Adbirisack Abdirahman, Minneapolis

August, to me, has always signified back to school season. Students and parents alike busy themselves with various registrations, shopping and schedule comparison. But for many adult learners that is not the case. August is just another month. Yes, they may be getting ready for their own school age children’s return to the classroom but life hasn’t stopped for summer vacation. There’s still work; there are bills; and there is still school.

Written by Isolde Mueller, who volunteers at Central Minnesota ABE and is a 2014 Volunteer Story Contest winner.


For Cathy Lindsey, it wasn’t a matter of hearing that literacy volunteers were needed—she had been aware of that fact for her entire adult life. After being a literacy volunteer on and off for more than 20 years and moving from Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Paul, Minnesota, Cathy wanted to find organizations that were dedicated to addressing local literacy needs. That’s when she found the Minnesota Literacy Council and the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning.

by Alice Guo, Community Impact Intern

In order to learn more about tutoring in the corrections system in Minnesota, I was thrilled to interview Abby Roza, who is an Adult Education Instructor at the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility. I’m excited to share with you some valuable information and insights on this program.

Prison literacy is a concept that caught my attention after living in the States for eight months and working as a Community Impact Intern at Minnesota Literacy Council. You know, I barely kept an eye on such a topic when I was growing up in China.

As June rolls in, I find myself reminiscing about when I was younger thinking that adults must have summer vacation too. There was no way that someone could go to school or work all year long. Now that I’m older and (slightly) wiser I realize that for many of our students and volunteers learning is a year-round process. For Open Door Learning Center- Northside volunteer Rachel Pelham, learning is something that happens constantly.

Written by Pamela Veeder, who volunteers at Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning and is a 2014 Volunteer Story Contest winner

One snowy February day in the not so distant past, my coworker Allison and I travelled to the Rahncliff Learning Center in Eagan. After an hour or so of meetings, Darla Thaldorf, the center’s volunteer coordinator said to us, “you have to meet our volunteers Bryant and Joan. They have a pretty interesting story.” Boy, was Darla right.



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