Parfait Gasana, weekend manager of the Yale Visitor Center, came to the United States in May 2005 without knowing a word of English.
“I was frustrated. No one could understand what I was saying; I was voiceless,” he recalls.
For a few months, Gasana, then 23, lived as best he could until he met Christine Alexander, founder of the literacy program New Haven Reads. She encouraged him to attend New Haven Reads meetings, and he quickly learned English by reading picture books with the children.
Ten years later, he is returning the favor.