Nicolas Mandujano, a Project Read graduate, came to the United States from Mexico in 2010. As a young child, Nicolas’s dream was to “learn English.” Though he learned some English in secondary school in Mexico, it was not enough to communicate well with and understand others when he came to the U.S. His lack of English literacy skills made it difficult for him to succeed at his job and support his family. He tried to learn English by himself, but struggled until he found Project Read.

Project Read is the only literacy program serving adults in Utah County. Through Project Read’s one-on-one tutoring services, Nicolas now feels he is “able to speak to people in every place I need.” Nicolas said his favorite thing about Project Read is that there are just two people—a tutor and a student working together toward a common goal. He believes his one-on-one tutoring experience benefited him greatly and is what made the difference in improving his English literacy skills and ability to communicate effectively with people.

Nicolas has always enjoyed reading for pleasure, specifically the Classics written by authors such as Shakespeare, Dumas, and Victor Hugo. When Nicolas arrived in the U.S., the first two places he went were the public library and the bookstore. Realizing that none of his favorite books were offered in Spanish became his greatest motivation to learn English. Nicolas now reads novels, newspapers, and recipes in English. He has learned how to fill out job applications well and is improving his employability skills as a “fine furniture maker,” which will help him build a financially stable family. He has learned to read medicine bottles, helping to create a healthy community and safety for himself and his family. He is also sharing his literacy skills with his sons, which will help them succeed in school and beyond.