Every library visitor is a story in the making
When you Help Minds Grow, there’s always a story. That’s because libraries are great places to learn new things, gain great insights, be entertained and engage with other people. Isn’t it nice to know your generosity can make such a huge difference in people’s lives? Go ahead and read some stories now, or submit your own with the form below.
Thanks to the Library, Oscar enters UC San Diego with a clear career choice, college credit and experience in his chosen field.
“I'm glad the Library helped me build on my love of video games to make it my focus in school and what will be my career.”
— Oscar Acevedo
“I went from being a career criminal to a productive member of society. It makes me feel great that I’ve accomplished these goals.”
— Amelia Sandoval
Sati and her family are at home in the Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library and the Library provided Sati first schooling and community experiences.
Promo-Drone CEO and Co-Foundation Jamar Williams credits the Library’s Innovation Lab for helping him launch his business that uses drones to help organizations market and advertise.
“It all started here.”
— Jamar Williams
At the lowest point of his life, Jeff Scarlett found support, a sense of “home,” and motivation to turn his life around at the North Clairemont Branch Library.
“Libraries are very important to every community. People are truly blessed to have libraries in their communities.”
— Jeff Scarlett
Aide Mata first visited the Library to find a safe place to escape a tough home life. She found resources and support that helped her identify a career path in graphic design.
“People are here to help you. They know you and support you.”
— Aide Mata
The Library’s Career Online High School gave Kirk Bey an opportunity to deliver on his promise to his dying mother to get a high school diploma.
“It took me 38 years, but I did it! My mom is probably smiling down on me right now. I’m blessed that I had this opportunity.”
— Kirk Bey
High school senior Sasha Horne has taken full advantage of free Library resources since she was young to maintain good grades. Sasha and her family participated in the Admit One College Prep Academy to successfully navigate the college preparation and application process.
— Sasha Horne
Nine-year-old Calramon Malabot and other members of the Library’s Lend A Hand Club used 3D printing and modeling technology at the Central Library’s Innovation Lab to produce a functional hand for Nick Sissakis.
“It made me feel great to help because we used synergy--the process of cooperation.”
— Calramon Malbalot
At age 56, City employee Cindy Juarez realized it was time to get her high school diploma. The Library’s Career Online High School gave her that opportunity.
“I wish I had done it sooner.”
— Cindy Juarez
“We love the library because almost anything we want to read, hear, or watch can be found there.”
— Linda and Bill Kolb
“Thank you to everyone who helped produce these 3D printed prototypes.”
— Eric Berkey
The Library’s Admit One College Prep Academy helped Radhiya get accepted to UC Berkeley.
“It's been a long journey to get to where I am.”
— Radhiya Bryant
Cassandra Denneson finally earned her high school with the help of the Library and Library supporters.
“Now was the perfect time to finish my high school education because I had the support of my husband and family.”
— Cassandra Denneson
Childhood experiences with reading created a lifelong passion for literacy and learning and a lasting commitment to libraries.
“Books and reading give us so much pleasure. We want everyone to experience the joy of a good read.”
— Paula Taylor and Bernie Kulchin
The Library’s Families for Literacy Program has put all six of Erika’s children on the path to literacy and success.
“Thanks to this wonderful program, my kids have become early readers, all of them!”
— Erika Sayas
The Library’s Oliver I Can! Center helped Raphael Rosario go from being unemployed to finding his dream job and launching a non-profit to help writers who are disabled.
“This place is like a God send. From a tragic situation all of this possibility and hope and everything great that’s happened would never have happened if it were not for the generosity of the people that make this center possible.”
— Raphael Rosario
Thomas Evans no longer feels marginalized with Oliver I Can! Center help.
“I was being left behind and missing out until I found this place. The I-CAN! Center gives ability to those of us who have a disability.”
— Thomas Evans
Following her participation in the Library’s READ/San Diego program, Maria Gonzalez passed her GED, found a job and became active in her children’s education.
“"The most important thing to me is that I can now read and understand my three kids' homework."”
— Maria Gonzalez
Munisa Mohamed-Maawy credits the Library with giving her the tools she needed to get a job.
“It has been so helpful to have these free services. The library gave me the tools I needed to get a job.”
— Munisa Mohamed-Maawy
Maria Federico brings her youngest children to the Library twice a month to attend the Families for Literary programs – an activity that is making a big difference for her son, Oscar Acevedo.
“Oscar loved the book of poetry so much...he hasn't put it down since! He took it to school the next day and I had to tell him to put it aside so he can go to sleep. But I really don't mind. I'm so happy he is reading.”
— Maria Federico
Five-year-old Angel Herrerra gained many skills from the Early Childhood Literacy Workstations at his branch library – including a love of learning and reading.
“The library's computer phonics game helped prepare my son, Angel, to read.”
— Evelia Herrerra
With more than 30 years experience in human resources and career coaching, Dr. Sanchez is volunteering to help Library patrons navigate the current difficult job market.
“I see my volunteer efforts as giving back to our community to help people find that perfect job.”
— Adolpho Sanchez
READ/San Diego Director Valerie Hardie has worked for 22 years to provide literacy training for adult learners. She has seen the program grow from its infancy to become an award-winning program that has helped 22,000 San Diego adults to learn to read and write.
“You're providing the skill that no one can take away from them.”
— Valerie Hardie
Fifteen-year-old Library volunteer Armando Herrera discovered a passion for helping others at his neighborhood library and was recently honored for his leadership in the community.
“The Library has become a safe place to get my friends off the street, and I encourage them to volunteer here with me.”
— Armando Herrera
Following his participation in the Library’s Summer Reading Program, six-year-old Raymond’s reading level and participation in class soared.
“Raymond's reading level improved following the library's reading program.”
— Lorena Castillo
Marie Johnson, a veteran who had become homeless, lost much of her eyesight six years ago. She credits the Library’s special equipment and services for the disabled with giving her back her independence.
“I just love this new technology. It makes it possible for me to go online, enter the real world and communicate with people. It means so much that I can now read what I am looking at. ”
— Marie Antoinette Johnson
In an age of Wikipedia, Twitter and eBooks, it may seem that all information can be found online. For Charlotte, her first trip to the Central Library revealed a wealth of knowledge and resources not available on the Web, or anywhere else.
“Everybody was so helpful and there were so many wonderful resources. More than I had ever imagined! I know I will go back as soon as I have my next big school assignment.”
— Eighth Grader Charlotte
Dorinda and Glen Nothnagel turn to the San Diego Public Library for free programming, resources and a community, as they raise their grandson, Jayden, while his mother is deployed oversees.
“The Library has always been a part of our lives. Reading bridges the gap between [Jayden] and his mother, no matter how far away she is.”
— Dorinda Nothnagel
Alan Canizalaz used newfound literacy and computer skills he learned at the Library to successfully launch his own business after losing his job.
“The Library set me up for success and gave me the confidence I needed to go after my goals. ”
— Alan Canizalez
Fourteen-year-old Jocelyn Torres credits the new Logan Heights Branch Library’s expansive resources and programs for helping her succeed in school and gain more confidence.
“The [Library's] tutoring program has helped me so much. I went from failing my classes to getting A's... I now look forward to going to school!”
— Jocelyn Torres
Juan successfully found a job after using the Library’s free resources, including computers and access to the Internet.
“I would tell any job seeker to check out their Library. You will be surprised how much it has to offer. ”
— Juan Campos
Bridget Heffernan relies on the Library for educational activities and resources, including Library books for storytimes, to keep her preschool students engaged and learning.
“Without the Library I would not be able to supply my class with enough new books to help them grow and learn.”
— Bridget Heffernan
The Reynolds family discovered a love of reading thanks to the Library’s Summer Reading Program.
“The Summer Reading Program continues to motivate us all to keep reading and listening to age-appropriate books.”
— Jennifer Reynolds
Share Your Story
What did your learn at a local library? How did your opinions or ideas change? Who did you meet? How did your experience change your life? Simply by telling your story, you’re doing your part to Help Minds Grow. Thanks for sharing.