Quitters Never Win

Ninety-three million Americans with low literacy skills are unprepared to enroll in the postsecondary education or job-training programs they need to enter the workforce. 1

The Literacy Coalition's Learning Center offers personalized one-on-one tutoring and social services for individuals at or below the ninth grade level who are planning on entering the workforce for the first time or re-entering after some time off.

Carl came to the Literacy Coalition’s Learning Center in October of 2007, when it was still called the Austin Academy. After facing disrespect from his supervisor as a telemarketer,  he decided to look for other jobs, but could not find anything he liked.

Carl was diagnosed and treated for severe health issues  just months after beginning his classes at the Learning Center. The instructor who patiently taught him helped him succeed in his most challenging subject—math. That semester, he not only completed a computer literacy course, but received a certificate in workplace competency. After finishing at The Learning Center in January of 2008, Carl stayed out of work for seven years, due to his health. In the fall of 2014, he was able to push beyond his circumstances and was hired at a local nonprofit, but his health got in the way and found it necessary to quit the following year. After much debate, he returned to The Learning Center in 2016.

I felt like going back to the place I graduated from before would be a little redundant...I decided to go back anyway.

“I felt like going back to the place I graduated from before would be a little redundant. After getting past the negative self-talk in my head I decided to go back to school anyway,” Carl said.  “I learned a tremendous amount of skills that allowed me to upgrade my knowledge within the job readiness program.”

Now a student in the Career Pathways Program at Austin Community College, Carl Milligan, a recent Learning Center graduate, feels confident about rejoining the workforce upon completion in May.

Carl works on school assignments on the computer at the Learning Center.

Carl works on school assignments on the computer at the Learning Center.

Though he does not know what his future holds, Carl is willing to take the steps necessary to succeed with a smile on his face.  The Learning Center stands behind Carl every step of the way, helping with his resume and cover letter, and providing him with job resources. Even after finishing his classes, he regularly visits The Learning Center to use the computers, and is even helping design a website.

“I always recite a quote that I read from a book that said, ‘Quitters never win, and winners never quit.’” he said. “My life has changed for the better at the Learning Center and will continue getting better and better.”

1. National Center on Education Statistics, National Assessment of Adult Literacy, (NAAL, 2003), U.S. Department of Education, 2005