Volunteer Voice

We all have our individual passions. Something we care wholeheartedly about. Maybe your passion developed through a class you took. Maybe you’ve seen the need for certain changes. Or maybe, your passion steams directly from firsthand experience. For Peter Zambrano, an Intermediate ESL teacher at the English Learning Center, it’s the latter.

There are some people in this world who love volunteering. They love their community. They love the feelings of giving back. They love feeling like they can make a difference. Jenna Yeakle is most definitely one of those people.

A lot has happened in the last 13 years; 9/11, the election of  two different presidents, the iPhone, Oprah retires, internet cat sensations and much, much more. During all of this, Amy Sitze has been volunteering with Minneapolis Adult Education- South Campus. In fact, Amy started volunteering in 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11. She says that in an environment of mistrust, it felt good to [begin] meeting, caring about, and helping people from different countries and faiths.

When walking through the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis you’ll see groups of children playing in surrounding parks and adults walking to the nearest corner store. You’ll hear the noises of cars and trucks passing through on their way to Interstate 94. What you may not see or hear are the students and volunteers of Centro Guadalupano.

Written by Mela Shah, Volunteer Program Assistant and Hotline Referral Specialist


If you walk through the doors of Open Door Learning Center- Northside before class begins, you’ll be immediately struck by the hustle and bustle of the program. You can see students working on math skills, Rosetta Stone or working on perfecting their resumes with a little help from the coordinators or volunteers. You can also see relatives and friends coming in to learn together.

My First Time Away from Home

Written by Adbirisack Abdirahman, Minneapolis

August, to me, has always signified back to school season. Students and parents alike busy themselves with various registrations, shopping and schedule comparison. But for many adult learners that is not the case. August is just another month. Yes, they may be getting ready for their own school age children’s return to the classroom but life hasn’t stopped for summer vacation. There’s still work; there are bills; and there is still school.

Written by Isolde Mueller, who volunteers at Central Minnesota ABE and is a 2014 Volunteer Story Contest winner.


For Cathy Lindsey, it wasn’t a matter of hearing that literacy volunteers were needed—she had been aware of that fact for her entire adult life. After being a literacy volunteer on and off for more than 20 years and moving from Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Paul, Minnesota, Cathy wanted to find organizations that were dedicated to addressing local literacy needs. That’s when she found the Minnesota Literacy Council and the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning.


Subscribe to RSS - Volunteer Voice