March 26, 2020
Life as an AmeriCorps volunteer coordinator at Reading Partners
As a volunteer coordinator for Reading Partners Los Angeles, a large part of my job is recruiting volunteers and forging new community partnerships. Every day on the job looks a little different, so I never get too comfortable in my routine.
Some days, I’m running tutor orientations where I teach new volunteers about our program and what it’s like to be a volunteer tutor. Other days, I’m working in the office with our community engagement team strategizing about how to best reach new volunteers or plan appreciation events for our current ones. Sometimes I’m in reading centers, supporting our site coordinators and tutoring students.
This role has taken me all over the LA-area to reach new volunteer tutors. I have learned more about the city I live in and the people who live here than I ever imagined I would. I have spoken at colleges, senior centers, real estate offices, and neighborhood council meetings.I have helped people of all ages and backgrounds get started on their volunteer journeys—high schoolers, retirees, people with full-time jobs, former educators, and more. They each bring something unique into our reading centers and to our students, and I feel grateful to work with them on a daily basis.
As a volunteer coordinator at Reading Partners, I am able to see the positive impact our volunteers have on our students every day. I’m amazed at the sheer number of people who take time out of their busy lives to provide direct support to our students.
So far this year, I’ve helped engage 1,180 volunteers in the LA-Area who have delivered tutoring to 805 students in our program!
Taking a step back to appreciate these amazing volunteer tutors motivates me in my role. One of my favorite parts has been watching individuals transition from new volunteers to experienced tutors.
My feelings of gratitude for my term of service are compounded by the fact that I have been able to grow professionally while contributing to a cause I believe in. As I enter the final months of my service year, I have begun to reflect on the professional growth I’ve experienced since starting at Reading Partners.
I have been able to do things I never imagined I would do. For example, my public speaking skills have improved significantly. I used to be so nervous speaking in front of crowds. Now, I am able to improvise depending on the group of people I am presenting to.
I am grateful for the opportunity Reading Partners has given me to set myself up for professional success all the while advocating for educational equity.
I highly encourage anyone considering serving a year with AmeriCorps and Reading Partners to go for it! It’s an invaluable experience that will give you skills for life. You can learn more about our open positions here: https://readingpartners.org/americorps-positions/.