Print this page

Spotlight on Adult Literacy: Dreams Achieved

Randall Hinson, Librarian, Office of Education and Literacy,
Gregory Hill writing at a desk in the library
Adult literacy learner Gregory Hill at the Exposition Park Branch Library

For 35 years, the Adult Literacy program at the Los Angeles Public Library has helped adults all over Los Angeles improve their reading and writing skills. Gregory Hill is one of our inspiring learners.

Gregory was passed from grade to grade throughout his elementary, middle, and high school years even though he couldn’t read or write. He graduated from high school, but was unable to fill out forms or applications, and found applying for jobs difficult. Gregory tried numerous programs and classes to improve his situation, but always found himself back where he began, unable to read or write.

Then one day, while in the Exposition Park Regional Library, Gregory saw a sign over a door that read, “Adult Literacy Center – Read, Learn, Help”. Inside, he met dedicated former literacy coordinator June Brandon, who reassured him that he was in the right place. She promised him that regardless of what happened in the past, she was going to do everything in her power to help him learn to read and write. From that day forward, Gregory was on the path to literacy—not in a school, but at his local library.

“If it wasn’t for the efforts of June Brandon, Julie Christenson (also an Exposition Park literacy coordinator), Yvette Monteith (volunteer tutor) and the Los Angeles Public Library, my life today would be drastically different,” said Gregory. “The time these people invested in me not only gave me the ability to become a productive citizen but the confidence to reach beyond any limits.”

At 65 years old, Gregory calls his experience at the Exposition Park Adult Literacy Center one of his greatest achievements, and with so much to share with the world, he now confidently elevates his voice to help others in need.

“My purpose in this life is much bigger than me. I want to tell the world that no matter what your current situation is, it’s never too late.”

To help spread the word about the Adult Literacy program, Gregory agreed to share his experiences on camera.