MOVING MOMENT: Katie and Muka

Katie, a LiteracyCNY Instructional Volunteer, is a college student who wants to give back to the community through tutoring adults. She completed LCNY’s tutoring training in 2022 and paired with her first student, Nyabenda (Muka).

Muka was born in Tanzania, Africa, and lived in Namibia, South Africa. His primary language is Swahili, and he learned Portuguese and English. In 2017, Muka came to the US and enrolled later in Nottingham High School in Syracuse, New York. Although Muka is a high school graduate, he believes his lack of literacy skills limited his goals, and he also avoided situations where he was required to read or write. Muka works full-time for Amazon as a delivery driver and for Walmart.

Muka learned about LiteracyCNY from a friend when volunteering in his community. He set goals with Katie to become a US citizen and obtain the literacy skills required to change professions, like training to be an electrician.

Katie and Muka created an instant bond when they started their remote sessions. They focused on his reading, vocabulary, and life skills. Katie remarked she was surprised by Muka’s resiliency and calmness. He took her suggestions to heart and remained motivated. Muka is an inspiring person and continues to have an amazing attitude.

In the Summer of 2023, Muka accomplished one of his goals when he passed the US Naturalization exam with Katie’s assistance. “Katie is kind and friendly, making everything we discuss easy to understand. She provides a no-judgment environment,” commented Muka.

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