Student Spotlight: Lionel King

Lionel King, 43, was born in Guyana and moved to Rochester nearly 17 years ago. He has been with Literacy Rochester for the last 8 of those years. Now a fluent English speaker, Lionel has set his aim on becoming a US citizen; a goal he and his tutor are working diligently towards. Lionel is not just a student, though. He is a dedicated father, a very talented cook, having worked in a restaurant in New York City for a number of years, and a caring and understanding person.
Reflecting on his journey with education, Lionel is very clear about one thing: he wants to be a good role model for his children. “I know what it’s like not having a father. I want to have an education to better myself. I [want to] show my kids how hard I push myself to make myself a better person for them.” Lionel’s motivation comes from his heart, and that’s evident in the relationships he’s built throughout his time with Literacy Rochester – he is still in touch with his first tutor from 8 years ago!
Lionel credits a lot of where he is today to Literacy Rochester: “If it wasn’t for [Literacy Rochester], I wouldn’t be driving, wouldn’t have come across good people in my life. They’re like family to me now. Whatever I am going through, paperwork, I can always take it to them.” Lionel also highlighted his positive approach to difficult tasks, which was clear when asked what he was most proud of: “That I’m getting help.” A simple and yet powerful sentiment. By the end of his time with LR, Lionel hopes to read with his children, a goal he will no doubt reach! In the meantime, Lionel will continue cooking, watching the Ghost Whisperer, and building relationships with those who have the pleasure of getting to know him.
When students get the support they need, positive things happen. Literacy Rochester contributes directly to our students’ growth. Our volunteers impact students’ lives week after week, helping adults in Monroe county achieve their goals and engage in their community for over 55 years.

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