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April 2022
A Letter from Our New Executive Director
 
I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t easy to find our front door. One must navigate a locked door that requires a code, cross a small loading dock, enter another door, and, finally, our large purple door appears. It may look unassuming, but behind that door is a place that changes lives; a community of learners that welcomes all.

In 2013, I became a volunteer at LVGH. Weeks became months and my passion for our mission only grew. Following several years as a volunteer, I was hired as a Program Assistant, then Assistant Director four years ago. I’m extremely humbled to be writing now as the new Executive Director of this incredible organization. But one thing that I learned very quickly is that LVGH is not about one person. LVGH is about all the students, volunteers, Board members, staff, and supporters that make our organization what it is. 

My philosophy of our services is simple; we are here to help however we can. We teach life skills through literacy. To me, when a student leaves class feeling even just a little more confident in their ability to face life’s challenges, then we have done our job. Over time, those small steps forward turn into leaps.

In a world that sadly seems increasingly divided, I can assure you that humanity is alive and well at LVGH. I get to see it every day. 

I’ve seen staff lift the spirits of a student in tears because the weight of their world seemed too much that day. 
I’ve seen hundreds of volunteers give their time because they want to make their corner of the world a little bit better.  

I’ve seen the impact that livable wage employment can have on a family.
I’ve seen the idea that there is an age limit to learning new skills proved wrong.
Most importantly, I’ve seen the good that a community can do when we take the approach that when one benefits, we all benefit. 

What has been built at LVGH by my predecessor, CJ Hauss, and those before her is truly amazing. As LVGH enters its 50th year of operation, our financial position has only gotten stronger, our services and resources more robust, and our work more widely known. From its humble start, LVGH has become a cornerstone of the Greater Hartford community. 

The trust that our students and volunteers have in our programs is something that I will never take for granted. It is a privilege to steward this organization into the next chapter.

For those who don’t know me, feel free to reach out at Stephen.Morris@lvgh.org or stop by to say hello. Look for the purple door. 

Steve 
Student Story
Welcome New U.S. Citizen, Akeem!

We met Akeem as a quiet eighteen-year-old when his uncle brought him to LVGH. Unfortunately, he was never given the opportunity to regularly attend school in his native Jamaica. But if you know Akeem, you know he is not one to let barriers slow him down. Through hard work inside and outside of the classroom, his literacy skills have only become stronger and his test scores higher.

After joining our Career Pathways program, Akeem was able to find steady employment and has been working at the same company for over five years, routinely receiving raises and praise from his supervisor. To prepare for his citizenship test, he joined our Citizenship Prep class. It should be no surprise that he answered every question on the test correctly.

It has been a pleasure to watch Akeem grow into a hardworking, independent, and driven young man. We can’t wait to see what he does next.

Last Chance for Tickets!
Join LVGH Night at the Hartford Yard Goats

      
We have just a few tickets left for our section at the Hartford Yard Goats game next Saturday, May 7th at Dunkin Donuts Park. 

Our local team will face off against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies at 6:05 PM.

Tickets are $15 and a portion of ticket sales will go directly towards LVGH.

Act fast and click here to purchase yours now!

April 2022
Student Successes

 
This past month, we saw Brenton (left) pass his test to earn his CT Driver's Permit and Kizzy (right) pass her test to become a ServSafe Certified Food Handler! Congrats to them both!

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