By Alia Hammerstone
Volunteering with A to Z, I have always heard about Jonathan–an inspiring young man from Zambia who we have supported throughout his youth–from Shine Reading Academy to Munali secondary school. Bright, inquisitive, driven–countless A to Z members described this young man in glowing terms. My drive to help support Jonathan developed as an extension of my drive to support students locally through literacy development.
Arriving in Zambia this past summer, I was immediately taken aback by the profound maturity and wisdom of this young man I had heard so much about. Instantaneously, I recognized the same drive and desire to learn in Jonathan as I have encountered in thousands of students locally–and was truly struck by the universality of education. Jonathan impressed me with with his confidence and ambition–he was composed and curious, driven and dedicated.
Something that drives Jonathan is his desire to pursue an education in medicine. Since his formative years, Jonathan has been interested in the medical field. One of the things that I admired most in Jonathan was his passion for giving back–he believes that a career in the medical field is an opportunity to give back to his community. “I am what I am because of the community,” he says. The idea that this young man wishes to pursue a career in the field of medicine to make a difference in people’s lives is truly altruistic, and speaks volumes about his character.
As an organization, A to Z Literacy Movement has supported Jonathan for the past ten years–from primary to secondary school–and we hope to continue to help this young man achieve his goals. Our 10th Anniversary fundraiser, “A Decade in the Books” seeks to raise funds to help Jonathan attend college and to see our support through to the end of Jonathan’s academic career- and the beginning of his professional career in the medical field. I invite you to join A to Z Literacy Movement in our commitment to raise the funds and resources to help Jonathan in his pursuits. Please join us on February 2nd at Smith’s Central Garage in McHenry from 5:00 to 8:00 for a fun-filled evening as we seek to continue our dedication to Jonathan and other students in providing books and resources to strengthen literacy achievement.