News & Blog: Advocate Spotlights


The Literacy Center of West Michigan is honored to receive donations in memory of Linda Alkire who passed away earlier this month. Linda was a tutor at the Literacy Center and her family is asking that memorial donations be directed to the Literacy Center. Valerie Emmenecker, Director of the Adult Tutoring Program, shares her memories of working with Linda and her learner, Seida:

“Linda Alkire joined the Adult Tutoring Program in April 2012. She worked with a woman named Seida Perviz. Within a few weeks, Seida and Linda formed a close personal relationship. Linda did an exercise with Seida where she asked about Seida’s immigration story. Seida experienced serious political trauma in her home country of Bosnia and Linda provided a sympathetic ear. While they were working together, Linda helped Seida get her first job in the U.S.

I was Linda and Seida’s staff contact when they were working as a tutor learner pair. Seida was a very sweet woman, but she was shy and reserved. Her English speaking skills were quite low and she did not feel confident during conversations. Also, she was reluctant to form close relationships with people because she lost friends and family in Bosnia. Linda was a great match for Seida. She was warm and gentle. She would call me frequently to tell me how their lessons were going. Linda’s motivation for helping Seida to get a job was to immerse her in the English language, but also provide her with additional social interaction. I remember when Linda called me to tell me that she and Seida had decided to continue meeting at Seida’s home to speak English with one another, but not through a formal program. I wasn’t disappointed because I knew that Seida had made her first American friend.”



Sign up for our email newsletter

Get the latest word on upcoming events, opportunities and achievements, delivered straight to your mailbox.