Volunteer Voice

As a literacy volunteer, you are part of a dedicated, compassionate and creative community that is 3,655 strong. These are your stories.

Have a story of your own you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it! Simply fill out this form to share your voice, and we’ll highlight your experience in our monthly e-newsletter for adult literacy volunteers and here in the Volunteer Voice blog.

What is your name? Chueka Yang

Where do you volunteer? Minnesota Literacy Council

What is your volunteer role? Community Outreach Intern

What is your name? Sophie Liautaud

Where do you volunteer? Open Door Learning Center - Northeast

What is your volunteer role? One-on-one tutor

What is your favorite thing about volunteering? I love seeing students "get" the material. When concepts or vocabulary click with a student, they become thrilled! Being able to be a part of that learning process makes everything worthwhile.

New year, new blog features! After many successful years of our Literacy Leader feature, we've decided to introduce a new feature for 2018 called Share Your Voice so we can hear directly from you – our incredible volunteers. We know your time as a volunteer has an incredible impact on students and communities across the state. But how has being a volunteer had an impact on you? We’d love to know! This is your chance to share the joys, challenges and everything in between from your life as a volunteer.

What is your name? Christian McCleary

Where do you volunteer? YouthBuild

What is your volunteer role? Digital literacy volunteer

What is your favorite thing about volunteering? As a black male, my favorite thing about volunteering is being able to give back and provide resources to students of color who are unware of the resources that are out there, like résumé building, job training, college readiness, GED classes, and mentor programs – a lot students are unaware that these services are available.

What is your name? Kelly Rynda

Where do you volunteer? Hmong American Partnership

What is your volunteer role? Volunteer teacher

What is your favorite thing about volunteering? I love getting to know people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. The world is a big place and there’s so much to see and learn – volunteering is a way for me to meet a few more people and learn about their experiences.

Lincoln ABE – Mankato volunteer Jo Johnson has been volunteering in English language classes (ESL) for 17 years. She knew there was a need for adult literacy volunteers, and she was finally able to start volunteering after her retirement. Jo always suspected it would be a good volunteer opportunity for her, but she’s been pleasantly surprised by just how wonderful adult ESL has been.

When Karen Verburg worked for a family collaboration in six elementary schools in Mankato Area Public Schools, she served as a support between home and school and often knew adult ESL students as the parents of her elementary students. Since she retired from her long career in K-12, she has spent much of her free time volunteering with those parents, along with other adults, at the Mankato Area Adult Basic Education program.

Bob Adams has been volunteering at WEST Adult Basic Education - Monticello as a one-on-one English as a Second Language tutor for four years. He heard about the program through his wife, Thea, who is a long term volunteer as well.

By Kehinde Winful, Community Outreach Intern

“The best social service program in the world is a job,” a packed room of about fifty people, including myself, echoed back to President and CEO, Louis J. King II, of Summit Academy OIC in Minneapolis.

Jane Dorn is an English as a Second Language classroom volunteer in Saint Michael. She’s been volunteering for nearly six years and has worked in beginning through advanced levels. She loves seeing her students’ passion for learning, and, as a retired special education teacher, she loves that she is still able to affect so many lives through teaching. “While I was still working, I read for years about the need for volunteers in the Buffalo Hanover Montrose Community Education Bulletins.

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