Mother of seven overcame illiteracy on path to graduation Raised by her Spanish-speaking grandmother in Manhattan, she was the oldest grandchild and responsible for taking care of her siblings and doing housework. She went to school when she could and learned to speak English, but never learned to read or write. At age 10 she moved to Rhode Island with her family, but three years later she moved out on her own to escape mistreatment and abuse of her grandmother's husband. By the age of 14, she had her first child, Bryon. Torres leaned to write her name and address but struggled to find work, applying to factory jobs without success. Unable to care for her growing family. When Bryon was in the first grade, he asked Torres to read him a story. Rather than admit she couldn't, Torres made up a story based on the pictures. Bryon repeated the tale he heard the next day in school. His classmates laughed and his teacher scolded him for not telling the truth. When he came home he told his mother what happened. "I had to confess to my son I couldn't read," she said. "I made a promise to myself then and there that I would learn to read before he graduated from high school." Torres signed up for free literacy Classes and learned to read. In 1996, she earned her GED while simultaneously working full time and caring for her family. "I kept focused," she said. Torres graduated from CCRI with an associate degree in liberal arts, 2007. But the road to graduation was plagued with challenges. "Regardless of how the days went sometimes, I kept moving forward to the best of my ability."