Student Update: Angel Cluckner

July 27, 2016

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Students Angel Cluckner and Charlene Renaud

Angela “Angel” Cluckner, a woman who has faced and overcome many obstacles throughout her life, came to the Literacy Council in 2007 to improve her reading and writing skills.

An undiagnosed learning disability had led Angel to struggle in school. She notes, “By the time I was in high school I was going in all the wrong directions. If you don’t have a strong base of confidence in life, you’ll attach yourself to anyone.” By the 10th grade, Angel’s parents had taken her out of high school and enrolled her in a beauty school. As the years went on, Angel worked as a hair stylist and busied herself with raising her children.

But by 2006 Angel reached a real turning point when she was forced to “change the subject” one day when her grandchildren asked her to read to them. That embarrassing moment made her determined to develop the kind of reading skills that would enable her to one day receive a high school diploma.

The following year, Angel observed a Literacy Council tutor and an adult student working together at the Glen Burnie library, and said to herself, “I can do this!” Not long after contacting the Council, Angel was matched with a tutor. Following lots of hard work and many hours spent working with her tutor, Angel applied to the Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ National External Diploma program.

The big reward came three years later. Angel’s children and grandchildren were her biggest boosters the day they watched her walk down an aisle, wearing cap and gown, and receive her high school diploma. A friend even bought her a class ring!

Today Angel enthusiastically credits the one-on-one, individualized instruction offered by her AACLC tutor with giving her the kind of confidence it took to believe that she could not only finish high school, but pursue new educational goals. She is now just 4 credits shy from receiving an associate degree in Theology from the Chesapeake Bible College. Angel also serves as an on-call pastor for both the Ordnance Road Correctional Center and the Jennifer Road Detention Center, and leads two Bible study groups for women in recovery. And that’s not all: She continues to work as a hairstylist.


Students Angel Cluckner, Charlene Renaud, and tutor Bonnie Wright

This past fall Angel was talking about the Literacy Council with Charlene Renaud, one of her hairstyling clients. Charlene confessed that she was unable to read. At Angel’s urging, she contacted the Council for help. Charlene was assessed and matched with tutor Bonnie Wright, and is now making good progress with her studies.
Charlene’s confidence is growing. She works hard, faithfully completes her homework, and is eager to learn. Each week she tells Bonnie and her friends that she can’t wait for her next lesson! Her sister remarked how impressed she was with Charlene’s ability to read signs when they drive around town, and for the first time ever, Charlene was able to read the birthday card her son recently sent her.

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