Learner Spotlight: Meet Sumalee


Program Manager, Patty Swartzbaugh and NALC Learner, Sumalee Cherry

After many years spent being the only one in her family not a citizen, Sumalee is proud to be an American.  Originally from Thailand, Sumalee moved to the United States in 1976.  Here she raised her three children, who are now adults.  Her husband, whom she depended on for so much, passed away in 2008.  It was then that Sumalee decided to invest time in herself, and for her, that meant learning to read.

Having lived in the United States for more than 30 years, speaking English was not a problem for Sumalee.  Reading and writing, however, was difficult.  In 2011, Sumalee enrolled in our One-on-One tutor program and simultaneously enrolled in the Adult High School, working towards earning her high school diploma.

In addition to working on reading skills and earning her diploma, Sumalee soon decided she wanted to become a citizen.  She joined one of our citizenship classes at St. Luke’s Community House, and was an eager learner.

I didn’t just want to memorize the answers, I wanted to know the background of the history.

Sumalee’s thirst for knowledge has brought her many successes in the time she has been with our program.  We are so happy to celebrate these successes with her.  Congratulations to you, Sumalee, and to the 50 other learners in our program who have become American citizens this year!


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