“I’ve been on the [OLC] board probably over a decade. I was told, ‘There’s this wonderful organization; you might want to get involved, as you’re a big proponent of literacy,’ so I checked it out. The first meeting I attended, I fell in love with the message and the mission of this place, and I’ve been involved ever since. Literacy is a door opener for people as they manage their lives. It allows people to obtain and succeed at a job; it allows people to shop for groceries to provide for their families; it allows people to read street signs and navigate a new environment. It is something that is required as someone becomes a member of a new community.
I am excited about OLC’s future as it continues to develop and meet the needs of the community. Right now, we serve so many people who are international, who are new not only to Northwest Arkansas, but to the U.S. It’s been great to see the workforce program develop, for example, and I think the partnership with the public school system has been wonderful. I have complete trust that our program directors will continue to identify the needs of the community and match that up with programming development.
OLC is a family. It really is. It’s a place where everyone’s welcome; it’s a place of hospitality. You can see the impact that it has on every single one of the folks who comes through the door. It really is a home for a lot of folks. [OLC] changes people’s lives. I’m just so proud to be a part of it. It makes families stronger, it makes people’s connections with the region stronger, and it helps them find jobs. They realize that Northwest Arkansas is their home, as opposed to just a place where they’ve landed.”