Motivation to be the best “first teacher” to her son

Tecia Berry-Simpson was nominated for the Mard Little Award for Adult Learner Excellence by her tutor, Sarah Bierema, for the progress she made in the past year and for her motivation to be the best “first teacher” to her son. She received the award at the Kalamazoo Literacy Council’s Fall Reception in October 2018.

Supporting her son’s education

Tecia and Sarah have been working together for three and half years. Throughout that time, Sara has seen Tecia make amazing gains as a learner, a business owner, and, most importantly, as a parent. Tecia is a single mother, and her first major goal when she came to the KLC was to be able to assist her son with his homework. As Tecia has gained confidence in her own reading ability, she became one of the most passionate supporters of her son’s education.

Starting her own business

When Tecia and Sara first started meeting, she was working two jobs: a full-time job at her father’s business, and cleaning offices on the weekend. After coming to the KLC, she was able to start her own business within her father’s, in which she makes amazing balloon creations. Balloon Art by Tecia has become known as THE place to go for wonderful balloon decorations in Kalamazoo.

Leading a healthier lifestyle

Tecia has made drastic changes within her own personal lifestyle. She now makes eating healthy a priority for her family and she was able to quit smoking! With the help of her Goodwill Navigator, Tecia has connected with medical providers that assisted her on her journey. This past year has been pretty difficult for Tecia, but she has chosen to remain positive. She was even able to purchase her first home.

Everyone at KLC, including Sarah, is impressed with Tecia as a learner, a fellow mother, and new business owner. Any tutor would be lucky to have a learner as motivated and positive as Tecia!