Let me begin by first introducing myself. My name is Rick Nangreave and some of you may know me as the President of the Literacy Rochester (LR) Board. What many don’t readily know is that when I first joined the Board, I also became a LR tutor at the same time. As rewarding as it is to serve on the LR Board, for me personally, assisting others and giving back is my true calling.
Having grown up on Webster Avenue in the City of Rochester, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be surrounded by a diverse group of people who had the ability to speak another language other than English. All of who learned the English language upon arriving to the United States.
As a toddler I spoke Spanish even though my parents only spoke English. In my pre-teen years, I even had the opportunity to learn Greek and Sign Language. Experiences, I may have not had if I grew up anywhere else. It was through these life experiences, I learned the value of having the ability to read, write, and speak the primary language of the country in each one lives in.
Fast forward and years later, I met my wife (Olga). The interesting thing about our story, we came to realize we grew up blocks apart but never recall meeting until we were adults. My in-laws moved into the neighborhood when my wife’s parents migrated to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico. At that time, she was only seven years old and did not speak a word of English.
As a result, Olga placed into English as a Second Language classes (ESL). Throughout the years, she and her entire family began to learn the English language. Eventually, she became a “mainstream” English student and today’s holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Which established the foundation for her very successful career in the field of Human Resources. Success stories like my wife’s, in part, are made possible through agencies like Literacy Rochester.
In addition to Olga working in the field of Human Resources, so do I. When we are not at work, Olga and I are very active in the Rochester Community and between the two of us we sit on multi different boards that serve our community. In our spare time we love to travel and spend time with our family and friends.
Olga and I have two children Ryan and Jasmine. Ryan is an Organic Chemistry Professor at Arizona State University (ASU) and Ryan’s wife Jeanette is also a Professor at ASU and teaches Bio-Chemistry and Physics. Ryan and Jeanette have three daughters, Emma 10, Ava 3, and Oliva who was just born on December 10, 2019. Jasmine is in final year of law school at American University in Washington, DC. Jasmine graduates in May 2020 and will sit for her bar exam in July 2020.
In closing, I would like to recognize the work of the staff, volunteers, and tutors. It is through their dedication and commitment to our agency, learners, and the Rochester Community that we continue to advance forward and continually make a positive difference. Literacy Rochester’s future is bright and full of promise and it has been both my honor and privilege to serve on the board of Literacy Rochester.