My adventure with Team Read started when I was 14 years old. I had heard about Team Read through friends and knew that many of my classmates had gotten their first jobs through the organization. I personally have always had an affinity for reading, and my fondest memories of childhood involved participation in the Global Reading Challenge at my school and long hours spent sifting through books at the neighborhood library. After I heard that Team Read was hiring tutors, I decided to sign up at an elementary school site a few minutes from my house. I felt drawn to the organization because I wanted to help children cultivate genuine enthusiasm for reading that I believed could lead to lifelong curiosity and success.
I tutored at Van Asselt Elementary School for about a semester before I decided to become a Team Read Ambassador. Ambassadors of the program met once a month during the school year to help plan and execute fundraising efforts for the organization. Throughout the experience, I gained exposure to the inner workings of nonprofits and further fueled my desire to give back to the community.
A few years later, Team Read began to expand their efforts beyond the school year in the form of a pilot summer reading program. I jumped at the opportunity to become the first Summer Reading Program Coordinator. Throughout that summer, I managed dozens of tutors and their students at several different schools. Being a former tutor allowed me to come into the program with empathy and understanding that helped guide the tutors and their students to excel. And through coordinating, I was able to hone my leadership and interpersonal skills while working with individuals of all ages.
Currently, I volunteer on the marketing and fundraising committee for Team Read. I’m able to take the skillset that I’ve developed through my work experience and utilize it to help Team Read to develop marketing collateral to achieve their fundraising goals. Working in different facets of the organization has allowed me incredible insight into all of the components necessary to drive the organization to success and has continually inspired me to work towards greater change.