Job Title/Company: Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission

Reading Coach:
September 2006 – June 2009
Team Read Ambassador: September 2009 – June 2010
Fun Fact: Marvin is the third person in his family to work for Team Read. His two older sisters were reading coaches for four years and participated in the Ambassador program.

Team Read was my first “job” in high school and helped me develop a better sense of responsibility in my life. Professionally, I learned the basic skills of showing up to my job regardless of how busy I was. It taught me to prioritize and organize my time in order to stick to a commitment and continue coaching each week. I had to learn to come in with the right attitude each day or else my student would be affected by my negative demeanor.

Personally, I learned patience figuring out how to engage with my student and build a relationship with her. We started off as strangers and as the year continued, she was still very reserved towards me. She spoke or shared very little about herself. When she refused to read or talk about it, I realized a lot of times my student was frustrated with her own reading abilities, which caused her to act out. But I knew, If I ever got frustrated with her, we needed to work through what was difficult together. It was hard at times, but every once in a while I would see some growth or some development. On really good days we could actually talk to each other. That was when it got fun, when she finally opened up and trusted that was there to help her.