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We believe that education helps create equity, empowering individuals to reach their potential as parents, wage earners, and community members.

Mission: Mission

Our Mission

Siena Literacy Center provides effective education programs for adults seeking to improve their ability to successfully meet the challenges of everyday living by learning foundational skills in reading, writing, and math, and/or English as a Second Language in keeping with the Dominican commitment to education.

Mission: History

Our Diversity Statement

Siena Literacy Center is dedicated to honoring and encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusivity among our staff, Board, volunteers, and those we serve. By doing so, we build strength, discover creativity, and determine purpose.  It is in challenging the status quo that we build a better and more holistic workforce ecosystem and community.

Our History

Siena Literacy Center was founded by the Adrian Dominican Sisters, who saw a need for a foundational educational program for students from all walks of life. The ministry was taken on by Sister Mary Hemmen, who in October of 1995 opened the doors of Siena Literacy Center to 20 students and 12 tutors. The program was originally located at Bishop Borgess High School, where it operated for 10 years and served hundreds of adults in reading, math, and English language skills. 

In 2005, Siena moved to New Genesis Baptist Church, housed in Detroit's former Yost Elementary School at 16161 Winston. It remained there for five years before moving in May of 2010 to its present location, a former convent at 16888 Trinity on the campus of Christ the King Church. 

Sister Mary Hemmen passed away on January 25, 2018, after a long career in educational endeavors. A teacher, an administrator, and a religious educator, her ministry and service continue to be remembered and valued, and Siena Literacy Center continues to change people's lives in the richest and most rewarding ways. 

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