Adult Education student Mu Chi wins literacy award


Each year, the Minnesota Literacy Council holds an awards ceremony to recognize adult literacy students and their achievements. This year, Adult Education student Mu Chi will be awarded Minnesota Literacy Council’s 2019 Outstanding Student Award at the event on April 30.

John Ashby, adult education manager nominated Mu Chi for the award for her hard work, diligence and great attitude. “Over the past year, she has achieved many goals, and her accomplishments have inspired other learners in our classes,” he said. Last year Mu Chi attended her U.S. citizenship swearing-in ceremony, and exemplifies a U.S. citizen who is fulfilling her responsibility of supporting her community.”

Mu Chi took her first English class with “Teacher John” (Ashby) and has continued to attend classes ever since. When she first arrived at Neighborhood House, she knew “some” English, but really became more comfortable speaking the language by taking classes. “Teacher Cara” said that she has led classes with Mu Chi over the past few years and that, “she makes great connections with other students. She’s always building people up, complimenting them and saying how smart they are,” said Cara. “And she brings the class homemade treats from her culture, which is always a great community-builder!”

Mu Chi also spends time volunteering at our Food Market. She smiles, saying that, “Kate (food support coordinator) is my best friend.” At least once a week, she delights in volunteering at the food market because she gets to speak Karen to other participants and take them shopping.

Snow drawingWhile Mu Chi attends class, her five year-old daughter Snow Paw, has been enrolled in our Early Childhood classes. Amanda Williams, Early Childhood Education Manager, said that Snow Paw is a creative thinker and often uses ordinary classroom materials to construct elaborate artistic structures. “Snow Paw has built a pretend piano out of small foam blocks and a zoo for small toy animals out of colorful magnetic tires,” Williams said. “She is also very attuned to the needs and emotions of others around her. She is quick to alert a teacher if she notices one of the younger children in the class appears to be upset. We love her!”

Mu Chi is also a part-time barista at Beaningful—Neighborhood House’s social enterprise—where participants are gaining job experience and building skills like customer service, leadership and workplace communication. And as a thank you, she donated her first paycheck back to Beaningful, rounding out her contributions to Neighborhood House to include “donor.”

Congratulations Mu Chi!