Jerry’s personal tutoring inspires his monthly giving

Jerry Marra is a Literacy Network volunteer tutor and a monthly donor in support of Literacy Network’s programs. When asked why being both a volunteer and donor matters to him, this is what he shared:

“Irineo and I have worked together since the fall of 2012 after I retired from Oscar Mayer. Over that period, I’ve seen his English improve as he’s gained confidence in himself and more comfortable with the many nuances and irregularities of our language.

I am inspired to give to the Literacy Network because I find my learner to be inspirational. He is a very willing and appreciative learner. He’s there every week/ He always does his work. He is grateful for our time together and appreciative of the Literacy Network.

The only thing he wants to do is improve his English as an enabler to provide a better life here for himself, his wife and three kids. I think he’s representative of lots of other Literacy Network learners. They come of their own accord. No one is forcing them. I find this especially inspirational and am happy to donate to keep the program going.

I look at my relationship with him as not just a tutor but also a mentor. Knowing that I spent 30+ years in industry he loves to talk to me about work and his struggles with management and fellow employees. We talk a lot about his kid’s school so he knows how to be a good parent and keep them on track. We talk a little about finances and health concerns and taxes and insurance and all the other things a family of five faces everyday in Middleton, WI. He likes to talk about current events and seeks to better understand our political landscape.

Don’t get me wrong. I love helping him speak, read and write English better and he sees this as a key to improving the life of his family. But I also love helping him navigate all the other things we all face all the time. He and his whole family are as genuine as they come. I am fortunate to be his tutor, his mentor and his friend.”

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