Lives changed through learning at the Adult Education Center in Pearland

PEARLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- At the Adult Education Center, one goal has bonded volunteer tutors and adult students for decades: the desire to develop reading and language skills, regardless of age.

"That's what I feel all the time, every time I come here," said volunteer Lou Sneddon.

One of the center's most recent success stories is adult learner Francisco Otero. He worked at Baker Hughes in his native country of Venezuela, but with limited English skills, he was forced to take a job at a bakery when he came to the U.S.

The free tutoring has helped him return to the work he loves, and he's once again employed at Baker Hughes.

"I knew that this is the, the way to, to improve our life," says Otero. "I have to give stability, security to my family."

It's those kinds of results that keep volunteers engaged in their work.

"It's fun to see a person come back and say, I was able to do this. I was able to accomplish this," he said.

The Adult Education Center is most recognized in Pearland under its previous name, The Adult Reading Center, and by its spirited spring fundraiser, the Red Hat Literacy Luncheon. CEO, Ernest Lewis calls it a signature event.

"You have red hats and purple boas, but it's for a cause."

The Center's cause of improving adult literacy has expanded over time and given birth to the name change, The Adult Education Center.

"They're actually coming in to really work on their education and we're here to help them every step at away."

The language and reading tutoring is free, but when students are ready for additional education -- like vocational training or a GED -- the Center graciously funds the Elissa Rivas Scholarship. It's the Center's way of helping students take the next step in education.

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