Sometimes even the most unexpected opportunities can inspire us. For Domonique Johnson, that inspiration came long before she began volunteer tutoring with LearningQuest in 2019. Domonique has been a devoted helper in the community for years having volunteered at the Great Valley Museum since 2016. She previously worked for a local restaurant where many of her coworkers did not speak English as their first language and did not have the time or funds to learn. Domonique saw that they greatly wanted to be able to communicate with their peers, supervisors, and even their child’s school. Her 12 years there made her realize that her path was going to take a new turn, she said, “When I stopped working in restaurants, I wanted to be part of an organization that supported people like my coworkers.”
One of her friends, a past tutoring student, mentioned LearningQuest the day before Domonique coincidentally met an LQ team member at an outreach event. She signed up to be a volunteer tutor for LearningQuest’s Adult Literacy program the next day. Domonique said, “Everyone at LearningQuest is so enthusiastic, compassionate, and kind. It feels like a really special community and I wanted to be a part of it.” Little did she know this opportunity would set her on the path to gaining new experiences.
It didn’t take long for Domonique to feel right at home. She was helping students learn to read at the library and then helping adults practice their English speaking skills at LQ’s English Cafe.
“I love helping students! Tutoring feels truly collaborative. Building that relationship and seeing students clearly stating their goals and continually working towards them keeps me committed.” – Domonique Johnson
Domonique continues to help her tutoring students reach goals and has since also become an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor in LearningQuest’s Family Literacy program. She has grown to love helping others learn that she’s started a new journey of her own, Domonique says, “I have enjoyed my experiences tutoring and teaching so much that I have decided to become a teacher! I am currently in a teacher credential program at Stan State.”
Domonique has some words of inspiration for adults in the community uncertain about restarting their literacy journey, “It’s so easy to feel self-doubt when learning something new, especially something as challenging as language and literacy. Acknowledging that you need help and making that call are the hardest steps. Everyone at LearningQuest wants you to succeed and will work hard to help you reach your goals.”