My journey with Team Read did not start with me as a coach, but as a student reader in the second grade. What inspired me to become a coach was my personal experience with my own coach, Jennifer. At home, my family didn’t speak English and were too busy to help me practice. Jennifer took the time to get to know me, understand the factors that impacted my learning, and develop personalized lessons to help me improve. By having Jennifer as my coach, I was able to improve my reading skills tremendously and gain more confidence. She helped me so much that I wanted to help others too.

In eighth grade, I became a Team Read coach at Roxhill Elementary, and continued to be a coach for four more years at Concord Elementary and at various locations during the summer programs. During my time at Team Read, I learned that being able to build a trusting relationship with your student is an artform within itself. There are micro, mezzo, and macro factors that affect all of us, some more than others. In order to effectively help my student, I had to look at them holistically and in a non-judgmental way to accurately assess their needs. Being a Team Read coach has allowed me to improve on these skills and later implement them in various aspects of my social work career.

After high school, I attended Seattle University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in social work. My interest in the field came from my personal experiences and from the inspiration I found while working with Treehouse and Team Read. I became very interested in the subject of human development, of working with adolescents, and exploring the conditions which make for healthy development, as well as the ways in which the social worker can promote these conditions. I currently work at Compass Housing Alliance as a Hygiene Specialist and volunteer at Treehouse to advocate and amend policies surrounding homelessness and the foster care system, that hinders a foster youth’s chance of educational success.