VISTA Spotlight: Lauren Grammond

Where are you serving? What is your VISTA project’s name (if applicable?)

I am currently serving as the Reading Together Program Coordinator for the Saint Paul Public Libraries at the Rondo Library (University and Dale).  Reading Together serves St. Paul students in grades 1-5 by matching them with an adult mentor so they can work one-on-one to develop early literacy skills and a love of reading.  I am building capacity by creating support systems at each branch (instead of everything going through Rondo), establishing partnerships with the community and improving communication and data recording systems.  My biggest accomplishment this year is being able to schedule siblings at the same time so it is more convenient for their families and having the highest number of pairs ever in the program.

What’s your favorite tip for making the most out of being a VISTA?

When I start to feel overwhelmed with how much I have to get done in a given day, I change my perspective and think of how lucky I am to be given this opportunity to independently run a program.  I remember that after my year of service is complete, it will take a while to climb my way up the nonprofit ladder and be given the freedom to make as many choices for a program as I have this year.

What’s your earliest reading memory?

One of my most special reading memories is the first time I read a chapter book on my own, it was The Boxcar Children.

If you could have any job in the world (other than a VISTA member), what would it be?

If I could have any job, I would love to be a travel writer so I could write reviews for famous sites and get to explore remote areas.

 If I had unlimited money I would… go around the world in 80 days, or maybe take my time.

My favorite winter activity is…traveling someplace warm and away from the snow.

My favorite Christmas present ever was…a toss-up between an American Girl Doll and a rock tumbler (nerd alert).


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