"I just need to make a good life for my daughter." When Qurat enrolled with Literacy for Life and said those words, she was exhausted. She had recently found herself single,
on her own with her two-year-old daughter. She was relying on the generosity of family friends for housing while working a minimum wage job, trapped in the cycle of spending nearly her entire paycheck on childcare. She could not imagine how she would save enough money for a security deposit on an apartment of their own. Still, she was determined to stay in the United States where she felt confident her daughter would have a brighter future than in her native Pakistan.
Qurat decided to pursue a career in health care, beginning as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She was matched with a tutor, Ann, who helped her prepare for the CNA course. Their first meeting took place in March 2020, just one day before Literacy for Life closed its physical doors due to COVID. Qurat and Ann persevered. Qurat would drive a borrowed car to a parking lot with wifi access, where she and Ann would meet via WhatsApp to preview the CNA textbook that Qurat would be using in her course.
Qurat obtained her CNA certification in December 2020. She applied for jobs and prepared for interviews with the help of Literacy for Life's Career Coach, and she obtained her first position within a few days. Less than a year later, she increased her earning potential by adding certification as a Medication Aide. She completed the course and passed the exam with the help of Karen, another LFL tutor with health care expertise.
In March of 2022, Qurat returned to Literacy for Life again with an exciting request: to receive help preparing for her upcoming citizenship interview. Tutor Janice met with Qurat to review the questions for the civics test, to watch and discuss videos of sample interviews, and to practice common questions that Qurat might expect to be asked. Qurat passed, of course.
Along the way, while navigating her extremely challenging journey, Qurat's motivation has been simple: to provide her daughter with a safe and stable life so that she will be well positioned to embrace all of the opportunities available to her here in the United States.
Today, Qurat is an American citizen with her own apartment and a job in health care (and she is fielding offers of better ones!). Soon, her daughter, Maria, will begin kindergarten. The future is limitless for them both.