Daily Point of Light # 2437 Jun 9, 2003

Waltraud “Ruth” Valerio is a symbol of success to clients and students at The League for People with Disabilities and an enduring light for the Learning Center. Ruth is a volunteer tutor for The League and has shown extraordinary commitment to helping others learn.

Valerio came to The League as a client when her employer closed their Baltimore factory. Although she earned a high school degree in Germany, she needed an American degree and attended pre-GED classes at The League. She worked hard in class and with a volunteer tutor. Eventually, she attended Fairmount-Harford High School and earned – not her GED, but – her American high school diploma, which is a great source of pride.

Since coming to the League for People with Disabilities, she has been a dynamo, constantly searching for and absorbing information to help her teach. She works one-to-one with clients at The League. All of her students have some type of disability, which requires her to find unique approaches in her teaching. In her studies, she has learned to do research on the Internet. She is constantly using this skill to help her find teaching materials and techniques to help students with learning disabilities and other impairments caused by stroke.

Besides her own research, Valerio has sought out other opportunities for learning. This past fall, she attended Power Through Participation, a 3-day conference convened by and for people with disabilities. She volunteered to help a client attend the conference; although the client was unable to attend, Valerio accompanied the Executive Director and was exposed to many issues affecting people with disabilities.

Valerio has also completed three tutor-training programs outside of The League. Three of The League tutors attended trainings at Baltimore Reads, Inc. Valerio also participated in an extensive training program through Volunteers-in-Progress, a program through the Community College of Baltimore County and Literacy Works, Inc. She uses these experiences to help her students and shares information with The League’s volunteer tutor program and classes run in the adult medical day program. In addition, she has recently started volunteering in the community as a tutor in an ESOL (English as a second language) class.