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Our Stories:

Change Happens Here

Student Story: Mubarak

“I am from Sudan. When fighting broke out in the Darfur region where I lived, my father was killed; he was shot in front of me. I traveled by myself to Kenya and my family they traveled to Chad. To walk from Habila to Niala took me 1 month and from Niala to Nuba Mountain was three months of traveling. I stay Nuba Mountain for 1 hard year. In 2006, I go to Kenya to live in a refugee camp and by 2011 I fly to the USA and land in New York City. In 2013, I decided to move to Nebraska,” said Mubarak about his journey to the Literacy Council of Grand Island. “I came to America because I wanted to get a better education, better life: I wanted to work and make money—my friends tell me to come here.”

Student Story: Mohamed Ali

Mohamed Ali studied computer science in Arabic for four years at the National Ribat University in Khartoum, Sudan. He now works at the JBS Meat Packing Plant in Grand Island, NE where he: “opens the stomach of the cow and take ‘everything’ out” (a job that he greatly dislikes). And yet — Mohamed Ali likes living in Nebraska, because he feels like Grand Island is a “safe place” for him. His entire family except for his cousin, Mugahid are still in Sudan. Mohamed Ali has been able to find some solace in his Sudanese group that attends one of the local mosques. He came to Nebraska because he knew some of the Sudanese people that had immigrated here and he was hopeful that it would be a good pla

Student Story: Andrés Perez

“When I was a young boy in Guatemala, I played the drum and marched in the parade for our local fairs. I played the drum back then, because they were the least expensive (instrument) to own. Children with more money, from wealthier families could afford the fancy instruments,” said Andrés. “In America, I have been able to learn to play the guitar.” Andrés comes from a big family back in Guatemala, he has so many cousins in Guatemala that there are simply “too many to remember.” His family immigrated to Nebraska, because they felt it to be a “peaceful and safe” environment; Andrés moved here to join them. Andrés completed local school up to the sixth grade back in Guatemala and is able to rea

Student Story: David and Cher

You’re never too old to learn something new. Our students teach us about this, and about perseverance of the human spirit, time and time again. David and Cher (last names omitted for privacy reasons) have been tutoring together since November of 2016. David is a high-functioning mentally handicapped individual, said has a staff member that accompanies him wherever he goes. David's staff member noted that David’s “drive” to learn how to read and write stems from a very specific goal: David really wants to learn how to drive. “Did you know he takes the DMV test every day after lunch? Every. Day. That’s dedication. I mean, most of the time he passes the written test — sometimes he fails. But he

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115 W. Charles St.
Grand Island, NE 68801