A life-long friendship is one of the best takeaways you can gain from a learning journey. Carol McAllister and Siva Tatisetti entered the English Language Learning program with clear goals. Carol was keen to help newcomers and enjoy new experiences as a volunteer. Siva desired guidance within a new social structure to turn her talents into a successful life in Canada. Together, they achieved more than expected.
The Library’s English Language Learning (ELL) program pairs volunteer with learner by gathering information on the goals and interests of both individuals. Carol and Siva were a natural, best match. They instantly bonded and are still achieving and adding goals to their plans today.
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Siva has worked persistently through every milestone, from not understanding a word Carol said to tackling a big cosmetology textbook to success in a trade certification. She has also got her driver’s license, is preparing for her citizenship exam, and plans to reach further with a full aesthetician license.
“The first time I saw the cosmetology book, I thought, ‘I can’t do that.’ But once we were doing reading together, she explained, and I understood.” – Siva Tatisetti
Carol could not be prouder of Siva’s drive, and her dedication shows it. With every step forward and back, Carol was a call or text away. They continued their sessions beyond ELL’s regular schedule and into the summer. Carol gladly integrated the aspirations of other members of Siva’s family. She helped Siva’s husband with his questions on citizenship and answered Siva’s sons’ myriad questions, from choosing high school courses to identifying kinds of cookies talked about a school.
The kind of support and appreciation Carol and Siva gave each other is truly a cornerstone of learning and friendship. Together, we are able to reach further and realize any possibility.
This story is dedicated in the memory of Brenda Woolner, who worked in ELL at the Library for over 10 years. Brenda had an innate gift for connecting people, including Carol and Siva. Her legacy continues on through the countless stories, like this one, she has helped make possible.
This story was originally published as part of the Library's 2021-22 Annual Report to our community. Read and explore the full report here.