“This place is life-changing”

Grace and her “angels,” at the 2019 Fall Reception

Karlena Todd, Health Literacy Navigator, Grace, and Maddy Heil, Adult Learning Services Navigator

Christella “Grace” Ruuska, by Maddy Heil

In January of 2019, Grace began coming to The Reading Center at Goodwill after working one-on-one with a tutor. She wanted to improve her literacy skills and to eventually obtain her GED. Grace also had goals of improving her self-confidence, increasing her ability to be independent, and to become more aware of what being healthy means. Though she has faced obstacles, Grace has worked vigorously to achieve these goals and has maintained a positive attitude.

“I’m a big part of the KLC”

Student Success Story: Gary Luckett 

2019  Mard Little Award for Adult Learner Excellence Nominee 

By Maddy Heil 

Gary is vital to the feeling of community in the Reading Center.

Before Gary joined the KLC, he was not an active member of his family and had a problem with alcohol. Now, has been out of incarceration for more than two years, and has maintained his sobriety. Gary is now an active member of his family, is especially proud of how well his daughters are doing in school, and being active in their education. His family is his focus in life.

Gary is a wonderful advocate for the KLC. He readily shares his story and how much the organization has helped him. In his words, “he could barely read,” when he came here. Now, Gary is one of my strongest readers. Plus, Gary always participates in class discussions. He is vocal when he thinks things could be better, and when he thinks things are working well.

He is also an effective mentor – always respectful and aware. He has defended classmates, celebrated them, and pushed them to be the best they can be.

Since starting at the KLC, Gary has maintained employment. In April 2019, he received a promotion and a raise. He has created a budget, and is working with his wife on purchasing their first home and taking a family vacation.

Gary’s achievements, in addition to the endless support he has given his classmates, make him the perfect nominee for the Mard Little Award for Learner Excellence. He has been a great inspiration and motivation to everyone he has met, including me, and I am so happy to nominate him!