Programs We Fund

Adult & Family Literacy Program.

Funding Agency: Literacy Volunteers of Bangor

Counties Served: Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock



Basic Needs

Number of Lives Improved

Funding Amount

Literacy Volunteers of Bangor is dedicated to helping Bangor area adults who want either to work on basic English skills or to learn English as another language. Our student-centered methods reduce barriers and get results.

Programs We Fund

Success Stories.

Ketson Dubuisson, like many adult students, aspires to have a job in health care. He has overcome several obstacles to get closer to his health care career goals.

Dubuisson, originally from Haiti, left his country after the devastating earthquake in 2010. He was granted asylum and originally lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, before moving to Bangor, Maine, three years ago. He lives in Bangor with his wife and two young children, ages 8 and 2.

Dubuisson originally began English classes in Lowell and connected with tutoring at the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor after moving to that area. He started working as a medical information interpreter  for Haitian migrant workers where he uses French, Spanish, English, and his native language, Haitian Creole.

The medical translation work inspired his desire to become a nurse in the U.S.

Dubuisson had been working diligently with his tutor since spring 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Dubuisson and his tutor, Kathleen Jenkins, decided to work remotely and use online tools to continue his studies. They would talk on the phone every Friday so she could check in on his progress. Adjusting to online learning was difficult, Dubuisson says. “It was a big challenge that I had never done before,” he says.

Still, he managed to adjust and continue to check in with his tutor and make progress, including receiving a scholarship to EMCC and gaining college credits..

Dubuisson is modest about his achievements, but Jenkins gives much-deserved praise for his accomplishments. “Ketson is motivated, focused, and resilient,” Jenkins says. “He survived the earthquake in 2010, traveled to Panama, South America, Central America, and the U.S. He speaks four languages: Haitian Creole, French, English, and Spanish. In addition to being the father of two, he has a full-time job and is attending college. I have learned much more from Ketson than I could ever offer him.”

Now, Dubuisson is taking classes in liberal studies at Eastern Maine Community College to work toward his nursing degree.

He shares advice for those who are new to the U.S. and just getting started. His message? Be persistent in learning English and working toward your goals. “I was hopeless. I knew no English and had no car then. Going to school to learn English was fantastic,” he says. Dubisson praises the help he has received from Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. “It’s fantastic there. My tutor always checks on me and offers her help,” he says.