Enterprising Women Summer 2021

GIVING BACK Dominican Literacy Center Teaches Immigrant Women Freedom, Confidence Through English Lessons S ince 1993, the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora, IL has been a trusted resource offering one-to-one tutoring to immigrants wanting to learn English and to help them become citizens in their new homeland. Led by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield,IL the center has become a place offering inspiration, hope, confidence, comfort and safety for those escaping the many stressful and dangerous situations that many immigrants, especially women, face. Chicago-based author and journalist Anna Marie Kukec Tomczyk brings readers into the heart of the center’s mission through the eyes of five Latinas from Mexico in her new book, We Are Eagles: Inspiring Stories of Immigrant Women Who Took Bold Steps in Life Through Literacy. She explained that the title of the book came from the daughter of Maribel, a domestic violence survivor, who cleaned toilets for a living until she learned English, got better jobs and went through a divorce. “One day, her daughter gleefully announced that since her mother now learned to drive and got a used car, the two of them were like eagles who could fly anywhere. Nothing could hold them back,” Tomczyk explained. “Indeed, nothing held back Maribel or the other women in the book as they gained strength, confidence and endurance on their journeys in life (thanks to the help they received at the center.) The women in this book all had one thing in common: Juanjo Tugores / Shutterstock.com 68 enterprising Women