Lupita arrived in Waukegan unable to speak English - but also unable to read or write in her own native language, either. She enrolled in the Leamos class offered at WPL. Leamos is a Spanish literacy class for adult students who either never had the opportunity to go to school, like Lupita, or who only attended school for a few years. Through dedication and hard work, Lupita learned to read and write basic words and before too long, she was able to read a simple book from cover to cover. These steps became the building blocks to her obtaining her driver's license, by enrolling in WPL's TVDL class.

"You have changed my life forever!"


Due to difficulties in school and the challenges of caring for an infant, Java had to leave school in the 9th grade.  She always felt that continuing her education would change her life. Java discovered WPL’s Family Literacy program at a low point in her life.  Java and her son King enrolled in the program. “The family literacy staff saw something in me… they embraced me, and now I can actually look at myself in the mirror.” Along with her improved self-confidence,  Java wants to continue growing and learning as a student and a parent, and continues to pursue her education through the Family Literacy program.

"I want an education. I want my children to have a better life."



Nadia left her native country of Ukraine with high hopes of starting a new life in Waukegan. Nadia has no family in the US, and had no idea what life would have in store for her. She spoke no English and did not know where to even begin to seek out classes and resources. Nadia discovered the Library one day, and learned that WPL had a Conversational English as a Second Language Program. She immediately enrolled in the class and spoke fluent English after only eight months. Nadia has since begun tutoring herself, working with adult learners in math, and has made the Library an important part of her life.

"I can proudly say that I now understand, read, and speak English."


Jose, an employee of the Waukegan Park District, was referred to the Waukegan Public Library with an urgent need. He was required to obtain his GED in order to maintain his employment. He had a sixth-grade education level, and felt the task of obtaining his GED was not only daunting, but impossible. He joined WPL's Path to Learning and Literacy by attending the Spanish GED program, and with hard work and support from our dedicated tutors, Jose accomplished the goal of receiving his GED in under five months. He was subsequently named Employee of the month and received an increase in salary!

"This program changed my life!"