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Alice Johnson

Democratic Staff U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

"My fellowship has allowed me to explore adult literacy in policy and practice, culminating in recommendations for a national adult literacy strategy and for integrating literacy into major public policy initiatives. I was based at the Labor Market Policy Group of the Department of Labor and seconded to both the Ministry of Education and Workbase, a non-profit vocational literacy organization. I interviewed more than 150 people with expertise in adult literacy and visited a number of programs, including those in workplaces, polytechnics, alternative high schools, and other community settings."

"Through my site visits I was forced to question some of my long-held assumptions about adult literacy and learned that much is applicable to the U.S. as we grapple with similar issues. I presented my findings to the government, adult literacy professionals, members of the public, conference delegates, and the media."

"Upon my return, I plan to disseminate my findings widely, including a Capitol Hill briefing. The Axford Fellowship was an incredible opportunity—a time of important professional and personal growth. I was fortunate to experience living on both the North and South Islands, to appreciate New Zealand's abundant natural beauty, and to make lasting friendships."

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