School gives struggling women opportunity for better education

School Gives Struggling Women Opportunity for Better Education

Education and poverty are two major issues facing our world, and one organization in Bridgeport, Connecticut attempts to combat the two simultaneously. The Mercy Learning Center has educated and supported over 9,000 women, with the primary mission of encouraging literacy.

Lead by Jane Ferreira, the Mercy Learning Center takes a holistic approach to learning -- they look at each individual to address not only their academic needs, but their social and familial needs as well. By learning English, the women at the Mercy Learning Center are more empowered to teach their children in the future.

Student Teresa Rojas started at the Mercy Learning Center 6 years ago with no English language skills whatsoever. She explains the motivation behind her education: "I want to get an education for a better life for my son and my daughter. I want my son and my daughter to do better than I."

The staff at the Mercy Learning Center is equally as invested in their students' education. Tutor Nancy Bonvini says: "It's a community. The staff here recognize that in order to learn they have to have support in other areas."

The purpose of the Mercy Learning Center is so much more than literacy and English language skills, Ferriera explains, but "about building a woman who is independent, confident." She hopes that when her students leave Mercy, they will have the skills and abilities to find a job with sustainable wages.

She sees education as the key to ending poverty -- not only for the lives of the women at the Mercy Learning Center, but for society as a whole:

Education for women is an even greater issue in other areas of the world. Watch this video below to learn more about the major impact Malala Yousafazai is making on female education:

Malala: 'Invest in Books Not Bullets'

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