Food for Thought

This has been a time of forced pause in our community, in our country, and throughout the world. The word “pause” itself generally carries a positive connotation; a respite, a re-set. But taken together, the term “forced pause” conjures decidedly negative images; loss of connection with family and friends, loss of a job, loss of health security.

Truly, these last weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for all, and the staff at Literacy Services have been riding the highs and lows along with the rest of the community. Due to a lot of hard work and ingenuity on the part of our staff and amazing volunteer corps, our adult education mission has not experienced a forced pause. Virtual classrooms and distance tutoring sessions have temporarily taken the place of in-person programming, but, importantly, the learning continues!

In order to keep this learning momentum powering forward, we need your support. Adult education and workforce skills training are as important to the health of our community as ever. In fact, they are arguably even more important now as we begin to open up our economy and seek the new normal. Virtual learning will undoubtedly have an important seat at the education table of the future. We are fortunate to have high-caliber educators to lead this effort and a dedicated team of volunteers to provide mission support. The missing piece is technology. 

Your donation will directly impact our students as we chip away at the digital divide.

The students you help with your donation are members of our community. They are our neighbors, friends, and colleagues. They are students like Alex. Alex is part of our English Language Learning program, advancing to such a degree that he may soon be serving as a volunteer tutor in the program as well! I’d like you to meet LSW student and budding chef Alex.


I am from Peru. I was born in a small village in the mountains called Celendin but I grew up in Callao City, in the capital called Lima. The first time that I came to the USA was in 2011, at first living in Colorado Springs. Then I applied to do an internship so I sent my application to two different hotels. I chose Milwaukee because I love cold weather and this a perfect place for me. I was lucky that The Pfister Hotel accepted my application before the other hotel, otherwise I would be living somewhere else.

The process of moving here definitely was long and complicated but not impossible. I am very thankful to my wife for all the support, help, and patience that made this new life a reality.

Learning English was very frustrating at the beginning because if you just imagine going alone to a different country, where you don’t know anyone and don’t even speak the language, it was hard to communicate with the rest of the people. The thing is you have to believe in yourself, the rest is just practice and I have really good friends whom also were patient and trying to understand me and telling me the corrections of my mistakes.

At Literacy Services, my volunteer tutor was Suzie, but before starting with her I was participating in a discussion group where I worked with another volunteer Molly. Both of them are wonderful persons, they helped me a lot! I had 2 hours of class per week for approximately 8 months. I didn’t think about tutoring at LSW until Molly gave me the idea. I started to apply but at that moment I was busy getting ready for my wedding so actually I am not a tutor there (yet!).

I am a chef and I am definitely thinking to open a restaurant someday. I love cooking. More than my career it is a style of life. I love music, I am trying to remember my old guitar and piano skills. I really enjoy my time taking care of a small garden. I like to read a good book, and even better if it is a cooking book where I can get more ideas to experiment in my kitchen.

Alex’s is just one of hundreds of remarkable student stories at LSW. Your support today will help adults in our community continue to write their own stories. One last thing, Alex was kind enough to share his recipe for a traditional Peruvian dish called Aji de gallina.

Enjoy, and thank you for your support!