Aletta’s little girl is adorable. She’s shy and cuddles close to mom. This close pair share the same eyes, but very different childhoods. Aletta’s daughter has access to an education her mom never had.
Growing up in Liberia, a small country on the tip of western Africa, Aletta’s family struggled with poverty. Because of this, her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school.
In 2006, an African aid program selected Aletta through her online application. They paid for her and her daughter (now the oldest of three) to relocate to Madison. Soon after they arrived, Aletta began cultivating her English at the Literacy Network.
“I decided to get into this program because I wanted some education,” she says, shifting her daughter on her lap. “Because of the war in my country, I never had the opportunity to go to school.”
In 2009, we matched Aletta with tutor Wendy Krook. As her reading, writing and speaking skills blossomed, so did her relationship with Wendy.
“I enjoy working with Wendy because she’s so kind,” Aletta says. “She’s patient. She’s someone who…helps with her heart.”
At home, Aletta practices English with her kids. They’ve been speaking the language since they were little, so they teach her, too.
“Most of the time, [my daughter] and I can study together, she say, ‘Mommy, this is way to pronounce this word,'” Aletta laughs. “Each night we read together. During the week, I take her to the library, and every night we read one book together.”