April 2, 2021 LVGNH

Invention is the Art of Making Possible the Impossible

Willie Lawrence, a student in Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven’s Basic Literacy program, truly embodies the inventive spirit. He recently was granted U.S. patent No. 10,772,458 — a big number — but Willie’s personal reinvention is even bigger.

Willie’s patented invention is “Coffee-On-the-Go,” his design for a mobile coffee/tea brewing machine, complete with a USB charging outlet.

Getting that patent required hard work and persistence, traits Willie shares with many LV students. But he has demonstrated extraordinary strength and resilience in overcoming the effects of a stroke 17 years ago, followed by another stroke two years later and open heart surgery.

During the pandemic, Willie currently uses his LV loaner Chromebook to continue working with his tutors Catherine Miller and Gene Kirsten.

"That’s when I started to believe in love. Now my life is bigger than that. So in my eyes, everybody believes you can do it. Just believe!"

Willie Lawrence