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New Spirit of Texoma Award Winner is Dee Doria
Dee Doria always greets folks who come in the Healthcare Center with a smile. She's a dental assistant, a job she's been enjoying for nearly three decades.
"I tell everybody that comes in, if I see them struggling, that there is a program called Adult Literacy and it is there to help you, please look into it and I say you will be surprised how fast you learn," says Dee.
As a Wichita Adult Literacy Council Tutor, Dee knows first hand. She's teaching Hung Tran to read.
Speaking of Tran's progress, Dee mentionded, "He just is growing by leaps and bounds."
Tran calls Dee "teacher" and they do far more than study words on a page.Tran is Vietnamese and is hoping to become an American citizen. Dee says writing and reading aren't the only lessons students learn during literacy tutoring.
"He is a go-getter and they were in an apartment and he wanted a home and he was worried that he wasn't going to be able to understand how to go to a bank and apply for a loan, so we kind of went over that and I helped him."
Over the last two years Dee has helped Tran grasp far more than the English language.
"I think it is starting to work in his everyday life, where he is getting more confident," stated Dee.
And instilling confidence is another goal Dee strives to achieve with children as a CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate. She speaks up for kids who are going through a tough time in life.
"It would be so hard to see them fighting the diseases they had, because their birth mother was taking drugs and I would go home and tell my husband, it breaks my heart I have to make it better."
So Dee went to court to try and make it better as their voice in custody court.
"When I stood before the court I was able to give, from my heart and from my eyes a good recommendation of whether to unify or to ask for them to give up their guardianship of the children," reminisced Dee.
Upon Dee's recommendation, the children were adopted by their foster mother. "It was nice to see them just flourish and grow and be happy and that's all you want and loving and to see that we were making it possible for them."
Dee says when deciding on what recommendation to make in court, she asks herself, "what is going to be best for these kids 10 years from now?"
She says, "You have to look at the long road, you want that suffering to stop. They were going to have a better opportunity and they were going to be healthier and then maybe someday they'll give back because someone cared enough to make their life better and so maybe they will pass it on and say somebody helped me so it is my turn to help somebody."
Dee says she just loves to help people and is happy to be someone with the Spirit of Texoma.