Meet Stefanie

Video Transcript

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[Words on screen] Live United.

[Woman seated in a library speaking] My name is Stefanie and I live with my family in Vero Beach [Florida]. Through school I when I tried to do my work in class or even at home, I would have my teachers or my parents, they would just underline the stuff for me, or just write it down and I would just copy it.

[Words on screen] Stefanie graduated from High School But Never Learned to Read.[Music playing]

[Stephanie drawing with colorful pencils] I worked at a place and I had to be on the registers, the shirt that the guy was buying, it did not have the price on it, so I had to call the girl who worked on the floor. I had to end up spelling out to her, because I wasn't sure what the word was and he thought that was so funny. So ever since then I tried to watch out what type of jobs I get because I don't want to go through that experience.

[Words on screen] With help from you and United Way, Stefanie is learning to visualize words, look up meanings and read books.[Music playing] asks me different things with different words and the sounds and stuff like that just to try to get how to pronounce the words right, so you can identify what the word is. I want to feel good about myself and have the confidence to myself that I can read; I can whatever book I want. When I can get to that place I should be at and I can go after the job I want to go after. I would love to accomplish the goal to become a better reader, so I can do those things; read whatever book I want or not get so frustrated, because I don't know the word, then I have to go through the whole sentence again. It gets very frustrating for me.

[Words on screen] Stefanie has reading skills, tools and hope for a brighter future.

[Stefanie drawing]

[Stefanie crying] I wanted this for so long, but now since I was a little girl. So I've...I know people in my life maybe just didn't have the time, [pictures in Stefanie's sketchbook of different characters] but now with the people in my life that's able to help me and the United Way and everybody else that helps support this adult literacy - I'm very thankful for them. [picture of Stefanie with husband and two young children in front of Literacy Services of Indian River County.] My husband supports me and I hope that my kids see they really need to try to work towards, to do good in school and accomplish things that really want to have happen for them.

[Words on screen. Music playing.] You and United Way Build a Healthier Community. [United Way logo]

[Words on screen. Music playing.] Special thanks to Literacy Services of Indian River County.

Elite Campaign Sponsors: Alex MacWilliam Real Estate, Armfield - Wagner Appraisal, Center State Bank, CVS Health, Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Florida Power and Light, Gould Cooksey Fennell, Grall Law Group, Graves Brothers Company, Indian River Press Journal and TC Palm.

Kmetz, Nuttall, Elwell, Graham, CPA's; Marine Bank and Trust Company; Morgan, Jacoby, Thurn, Boyle and Associates; Northern Trust; Pelican Garden Assisted Living Facility; Rehmann; Schlitt Services; USI Insurance Services, Vero Insurance; Wilmington Trust, N.A.

Literacy Student, Stefanie, shares her story.

A student reads her mail.


Rosa is a single mother. She once lived in a homeless center and never completed the 8th grade. She’s a housekeeper and has lived in the U.S. for 20 years. She also has ambition to improve her education and help her children succeed in life.

Where to turn for help was a challenge until she discovered Literacy Services’ PEN project (Parents Engaged Now). For the love of her children and her desire to succeed, Rosa signed up for our literacy classes and will soon earn her GED and CNA license.

“I’ve been given a second chance and a new lease on life. I can be a role model for my children and show them the importance of education through my own actions,” Rosa said.

Rosa told us that Literacy Services was different than any other program because we genuinely care about our students – we listen carefully and show them respect. “Finding someone that believed in me was what I needed to improve my situation,” she said.

Success stories like Rosa’s exist throughout our organization. It is a beautiful example of why Literacy Services exists today – to improve substandard reading skills of adults, improve their personal life, and help put a stop to generational illiteracy. With your help, our mission continues.

Sam reads the paper
A student in the library
A student carries a pen and notebook