Successes ► TUTOR SPOTLIGHT
Albert Guevara, 72, has been a volunteer tutor with The Literacy Connection since 2004. He is dedicated to assisting English-speaking, low-literate adults and non-English-speaking adults become become functional members of our community by teaching them how to read, write, and speak English. Because of his own personal experience, Albert understands the value of a good education.
The son of a laborer and seamstress, Albert was born in Dallas, Texas in 1935. He developed his work ethic in childhood when, in 1947, he and his two siblings joined their mother picking crops from farm to farm.
Arriving in Chicago in late 1949, the family decided to stay in the city. There, Albert attended vocational school for two years. He left school to help his mother with the family finances and to ensure the education of his two younger brothers.
Albert finally earned his GED in the late 1950s while serving in the United States Army. Besides his stint as a soldier, Albert’s varied career has also included stints as an upholsterer and – for many years – as a builder and welder. Now retired, Albert has applied his considerable energy to tutoring.
Although he has a strict, no-nonsense personality, Albert’s students appreciate him. He is a beacon in their world. Here is what some of Albert’s students have to say about the difference he has made in their lives:
Since being matched with his first student in 2004, Albert has tutored a total of 22 students. He donates an average of 45.7 hours each month preparing for and giving tutoring lessons. He presently has nine students whom he tutors on a one-on-one basis and also teaches a two-hour evening intermediate English conversation group of five students for a family literacy program.
In addition to tutoring many learners, Albert attends and financially supports various literacy fundraisers and has also helped with quarterly newsletter mailings. He is an inspiring example to all who love learning.
Why did Albert start tutoring in the first place? “Because I sense the ability to inspire others and create enthusiasm and excitement. I believe I am competent to guide and love to be in the seat of creativity. And what better challenge than teaching adults as an amateur teacher? I have this willingness to take risks, especially risks involving dialogue, even if I don’t know where it will take me," he said.