Combating low literacy and illiteracy is so important that we continually seek and celebrate success stories. Literacy Partners (LP), the only nationally accredited, adult education program in New York City, helps students like Scarlett Ortiz achieve their education goal. Ortiz’s story is one of success and inspiration.
Statistics show that people drop out of school for assorted reasons. In Ortiz’s case, she dropped out of 8th grade because classmates bullied her for being the teacher’s pet. Then over the next several years, she had become increasingly despondent about leaving school. She was confused about finding her way back.
One day during a routine physical checkup, she found out about LP during a discussion in which her doctor encouraged her to continue her education. “My doctor felt badly that I was in such a hopeless state,” said Ortiz. “I wanted to do something more with my life, but I didn’t know how. I assumed you had to have entered high school and dropped out in order to apply for your GED, but it turned out that wasn’t the case.”
Ortiz registered with LP, which offers free literacy services to adults. She began taking classes to get a GED. Amazingly, she achieved her goal in six months. Now, Ortiz is an intern at LP and assists the pre-enrollment program where she is an inspiration to people who are taking their first steps toward changing their lives through literacy.
Literacy Partners proves that there is hope out there, no matter what grade you dropped out, how bad you did in school, or whatever social issues you may have had. When you get your diploma, that’s just one door that will open for you, but it leads to so many more.”
Ortiz no longer feels like the black sheep in her family, who are educated and successful in both America and their native countries of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Ortiz’s next goal is nursing school; she would ultimately like to become a doctor like the one who inspired her to continue her education.
Find out about all of LP’s free literacy services at literacypartners.org.