Araceli Juarez left Mexico in 2001 to join her husband who was working in Utah. At that time Araceli had not finished elementary school and knew no English. Over time Araceli recognized that her inability to read and write in English made it nearly impossible for her to do the errands necessary to take care of her family and to help her oldest daughter to do her elementary homework. She knew she wanted to learn English and continue her education and started studying English at an adult ESL (English as a Second Language) class at the Provo Adult English Language Program. Upon completing the program, Araceli was referred to Project Read. At first she was nervous about studying with Project Read but once she started meeting with a tutor, Araceli found that she enjoyed their meetings and was able to improve her English skills and get help with her GED homework. Attending the Project Read literacy labs and book club meetings also helped her to improve her English speaking and vocabulary skills and she learned to love reading. “Books are so interesting” and “from reading books I get a lot of vocabulary skills” she said. After studying with Project Read, Araceli is more able to communicate in English, is able to do her necessary errands, and help her children with their homework. Araceli said, “I feel very grateful to have found Project Read because it is a non-profit organization and it is free for us and it is a good program. They don’t care about religion, race, or money status.”

In 2021, After 3.5 years as a Project Read student, Araceli was able to earn her GED diploma and graduate from Project Read. Earning her GED diploma and graduating from Project Read are not Araceli’s only achievements during her educational journey. In October of 2021, Araceli was awarded the Adult Student Learner of the Year Award, an accomplishment for which she feels “so happy and proud” of herself. Araceli is not done learning and furthering her education. In April 2022 she will begin attending more advanced English classes at Utah Valley University. She is planning to continue attending labs at Project Read as a volunteer and will be helping Project Read students improve their own English skills. Since Araceli has re-started her education, she has not stopped and will not stop until she has met all of her goals. Eventually, she would like to be an ESL teacher and help people with their English learning journey. Araceli is an amazing example of the successes Project Read students can achieve when they and their tutors partner to achieve their goals!