Literacy Narratives

Your Donation Helps Build the Initiative to Succeed in Life

Take Sam (he’s a real person, but that’s not his real name), a teenager who was sent unwillingly to Trident Literacy by DSS and was not happy to be back in “school.” He was resistant to learning and just wanted to earn his release.

But a funny thing happens when people who desperately need to improve their skills come together to learn. They form a bond, both with their volunteer teachers and with each other. They support each other and feed off each other’s little victories.

Math Class croppedSam was not immune to those bonds. He particularly connected with Mike and Gretchen (also real, also not real names) who are old enough to be his parents, or even grandparents. The trio has been working hard four mornings a week to master the multiplication of complex fractions.

One day these three students remained after class intent on conquering a set of problems. Three hours later, they were still at it. They helped each other and established a friendly competition. When they hit a snag they sought help from staff. Now they have mastered this difficult skill and can bask in their accomplishment as they continue to expand their knowledge.

Of course, Sam has learned a lot more than multiplying fractions. He’s grown up a bit and stepped off the road to failure and onto the road to success.


Elizabeth Is Supporting Her Family
Thanks to Help from Trident Literacy

Elizabeth (she’s a real person with a real name, but that’s not actually it) dropped out of school in 11th grade. She worked low-wage jobs until marrying and having children, but a divorce at mom-and-kids webage 26 forced her back into the job market to support her children.

Elizabeth worked her way up from fast food restaurants to preschool teacher. When her employer discovered that she did not have a high school diploma, she found herself facing the loss of the job she loved and her family’s lone source of income.

That’s when she turned to Trident Literacy for help attaining her GED.

Trident Literacy provided tutoring and other support in science, math and writing. Elizabeth especially credits her writing and math tutors for getting her over the hump and helping her improve her skills to the level needed to pass the GED test.

“Without Trident Literacy, I don’t know how I would have done it,” she says.

Today, she is working on extending her credentials. With Trident Literacy’s help, she is one test away from earning a Platinum WorkKeys certificate, the highest level of WorkKeys possible.

Elizabeth has a job she loves that keeps her family financially stable, the pride of accomplishment and even better prospects on the horizon, thanks to her initiative and your support of Trident Literacy.


Vanessa’s Going To Be a Minister
Without Trident Literacy, She Didn’t Have a Prayer

Vanessa Castillo is a college student with a plan to become a minister. She’s a long way from where she started, thanks in large part to your support of Trident Literacy.

Vanessa Castillo
Vanessa Castillo

Vanessa was an honor roll student when she left home at 14, moved in with a guy at 15, dropped out and got pregnant. For several years as a single mother she lived on welfare, bouncing from job to job.After a while, she realized she was on the wrong path and came to Trident Literacy to study for her GED.

On the first try, she missed the passing grade by just a few points. Discouraged, she found excuses to avoid returning.

Eventually, feeling incomplete without her diploma, Vanessa returned and found Nell Phillips, the Moncks Corner site manager, who was the first person in her life to encourage her dreams. “Nell was my biggest cheerleader. I wouldn’t have succeeded without her,” she said.

Vanessa earned her GED, which allowed her to get a job as a pre-school teacher. It was required for her current job at the Naval Base, where she is learning every aspect of the operation so she can move up into management.

Vanessa’s success encouraged her sister Nicole to get her GED.

Vanessa is now a full-time working mother of five and a ministerial leadership student in Southeastern University’s online program. Her hard work and dedication to education is rubbing off on her kids, most of whom are on the honor roll. “My kids are watching me. We have competitions to see who gets the best grades in the house,” she said.

Vanessa’s dream is to become a missionary. “People tell me that single mothers aren’t missionaries,” she said. “So why can’t I be the first?”