Paloma Morales, 34, came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. She has been attending the Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES) for three years, working on English and reading as she gets closer to obtaining her high school equivalency diploma.
Being raised by a single mom, and becoming a teenage mother herself, she was no stranger to the struggle of supporting a household, especially without a high school diploma. “My life before OACES was difficult,” she says. “Doors close all the time due to the fact of me not having a diploma or me not talking proper English; me not expressing myself correctly with professional people.”
That has changed with the help OACES and its partners provide. “They will help you in any kind of way; any resources, they will support you,” Paloma affirms. “I have MS [multiple sclerosis] so it’s very hard… Before OACES I thought I can’t do nothing due to my MS disease. I thought no one would have the time and dedication to prepare me for a better future. [However,] OACES has done that.”
Paloma has changed her goals to include college now. She is preparing to attend Monroe Community College. She wants to become a chef. “Now I think college level. Coming to OACES, it open my mind to say, yes, I can,” she smiles.
When students get the support they need, many positive things can happen. Digital Literacy contributes to that. Our volunteers are onsite at OACES to teach students computer skills. This has included creating professional correspondence and using software. Our goal is to ensure that adults in Monroe County, including OACES students, have the digital skills they need to become fully engaged in their community.
Digital Literacy, a program of Literacy Rochester, helps adults become fully engaged in their community as citizens, parents, consumers, and workers. The Digital Literacy program is provided free of charge on a one-to-one, drop-in basis in partnership with OACES at a variety of locations in and around Rochester.