Cecelia Burokas joined CHI this past Spring to direct our Adult Learning program. Currently, the program serves between 30 and 35 of our guests with weekly, hour-long sessions with our volunteer tutors in math, computers, reading, and writing. Here is her story:
“Education and learning has always been at the center of my life. As a teacher, coach and learning designer, I’ve worked with people from ages 11 to 70. Right now, I teach classes in learning and organizational change at Northwestern University, and I coach people in how to find rewarding work. When a neighbor told me about the CHI program for adult learners, I jumped at the chance to meet a new group of people who want to learn and who also have many challenges in their lives.
“What I enjoy most about my work with CHI is the personal contact with our learners. I get to experience every week how they value both the learning and social aspects of their time at CHI. Even if it is only a few hours every week, CHI is one of the important anchors in their lives-and now in my life.
“Readers may wonder why I I’m pictured with a parrot. That’s my blue-crowned conure Kiwi. I adopted him from a shelter 3 years ago and he is my constant companion around the house and office. Kiwi is one of three parrots in my life now, but my partner Ed and I have lived with as many as six at one time. I enjoy watching how they learn from each other and from watching and listening to us — I do very little ‘training.’ They just like to learn.
“And I think that also defines our human condition. Learning enlivens us, it is an important bond with our communities, and it affirms our belief in a better future. If I had a motto, it would be “Keep learning!”
Do you have teaching skills and have an interest in becoming a volunteer tutor? Please contact us for more information.