Literacy Success Story: From Adult Learner To The Board Of Directors

ELIZABETH –Paula Mejia was recently appointed to the Literacy Volunteers of Union County Board of Directors as a student representative.  She has been a student with the program since 2008.

“She is really going to be a great addition to the Board…. lots of good ideas…. and lots of enthusiasm! “ commented Board Member Nanette Crist.


Mejia, born in Manizales, Colombia, came to the United States in 1996.  She is a resident of Elizabeth.  Since she was a child, Mejia has been interested in special education and community service.  She received her BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Catholic University of Manizales.  Motivated to continue working in special education, Mejia earned her masters degree in Speech Pathology (UVic, Spain) and a specialization in Development Disorders (Flacso, Argentina).

Today, Mejia combines her passion for photography and desire to raise awareness about autism.  Her love of photography enables her “to stop time with an image.”  She has written a photo book about autism combining facts with beautiful images of children, which can be viewed online.

“Antonia,” a short book written by Mejia, highlights the importance of early detection of autism. It is currently printed in Spanish but Mejia is working to translate the book into English.

Jan Onishi, Mejia’s literacy tutor, said,  “ I have known Paula for almost two years.  Since meeting her, she has talked of helping special needs children and their families.  I have been privileged to help her improve her command of the English language.  Now that she has gathered confidence to use English, she will be an asset to literacy as she continues her efforts to reach people who need help with their special needs children.”

Literacy Volunteers of Union County is a non-profit, volunteer driven organization that seeks to improve the lives of adults by teaching them to read, write or speak English so they can participate more fully in family, workplace and community life.

“To become a candidate for our volunteer Board of Directors, please contact our office,” said Board President Bernadette Murphy.  “We are always interested in hearing from leaders who are willing to devote their time and talent to continue the great work of our organization.”

Literacy Volunteers of Union County is located at 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield.  Visit or contact Elizabeth Gloeggler at 1-908-755-7998 to learn more about Board of Directors recruitment.

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