Not long ago, we reported on the success of KRA customer Helen De’Atley, 57, who came to the Norfolk VIEW [Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare] program, a bit unsure of how her skills and abilities fit with today’s job market. With KRA Job Readiness Academy preparation and a volunteer opportunity that transitioned into a job as a Teacher’s Aide at a local childcare center, Helen is “fitting” just fine. Kathy Confer, KRA Career Agent, reported, “The really interesting twist to Helen’s story is that while she was attending GED classes at a local school, she discovered she was a gifted writer! Her teacher encouraged her to enter a contest sponsored by WE LEARN*, and her story was selected for publication in their journal, Women’s Perspectives. Also, she’s been invited to read her work on March 9 at an awards ceremony and workshop in Rhode Island.”
This year, WE LEARN selected “Women and Communication” as the topic for the stories to be published in the journal, leaving the ‘form of communication” up to each writer. Confer continued, “Helen wrote about how technology has changed communications, from her generation to that of her teenage daughter. Since the papers are going to be published after the awards ceremony, I haven’t asked Helen for a sneak peek. But I can imagine that when Helen was her daughter’s age, a landline telephone and letters were the major forms of staying in touch with family and friends. Today, we use our cell phones to call, e-mail, IM, and send pictures and texts…not to mention Facebook and Twitter! She really got me to thinking about this subject, and I can’t wait to read her story… online, no less!”
* WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network) is an international community of more than 500 “learners, researchers, and teachers” whose purpose is two-fold: to provide access to information about women’s issues and experiences for women in adult basic/literacy education classes; and to create awareness in the general public about the issues and realities faced by women who need basic literacy, and educational resources and opportunities. The WE LEARN mission is to promote literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equity for women.