Meet Rico

Rico was only 9 years old when his father left home and never came back.

His father wasn’t planning to abandon his family- he went to California in search of a better job, and a better life. He told Rico, the oldest, to take care of his seven siblings and his mother, who suffered with multiple sclerosis. Rico’s father intended to send for the family when he got settled, but that day never came.  He passed away unexpectedly, and Rico lost his father, his childhood and his future.Rico

Rico suddenly was the man of the family.  He had to learn to cook and help care for his brothers and sisters. Eventually, when his mother was blinded by the ravages of MS, caring for his family took precedence over everything – including school.

Literacy Center of the Midlands is a nonprofit dedicated to helping adults and families by providing free services to improve their reading abilities so they can do all the simple things we take for granted – such as reading to our children, understanding a doctor’s instructions, or comprehending a job application.

We need your help for people like Rico.  Your gift of $60, $100 or $200 will fund the General Education Diploma (GED) and Adult Education programs so our adult students can get a better education, a better job … and a better life.

Rico has spent his entire life taking care of others.  At 16, he fathered a baby and quit school in order to take a full time job as a dishwasher to support her.  He quickly worked his way up from dishwasher to cook, and discovered he truly enjoyed cooking.

With every job, Rico impressed his supervisors with his willingness to work hard, take on new challenges, and never complain.  He was frequently promoted, but without his high school diploma he always ended up hitting the same brick wall that prevented him from becoming the man he always dreamed of being.

Rico often held down two jobs to make ends meet, and wondered how he would ever get ahead.  The years passed, and so did his 50th birthday, but his dreams have never died.  He wanted to go to college, attend culinary school and become a chef. That’s when he discovered the Literacy Center.

The Literacy Center offered him free services, with volunteers who worked one-on-one with him and gave him the kind of encouragement that inspired, motivated and allowed him to believe his dream might come true.

Rico’s involvement in the General Education Diploma (GED) program has been a long and rewarding process. He has worked hard, and has passed all his tests except for the final one he will take in mid-November.

He is quick to credit his teachers and the Literacy Center for his success: “The Literacy Center helps older and younger people get to a better place in their lives.  Without education, you just have luck – and luck can run out.  No one can ever take your education away from you.”

Rico currently has some special motivation to pass his final GED test – his granddaughter will graduate next spring, and he is determined to win the race to their diplomas!

There are so many wonderful people like Rico that need YOUR help each and every year.  I hope you will consider making a gift today – an investment – to support the good work of the Literacy Center.  On behalf of the staff, board of directors, volunteers, and especially Rico, thank you for your support!

With gratitude,
Kirsten Case
Executive Director

P.S. If you would like to make  gift in honor of Rico or another special person, please do so by clicking here. Thank you!