Share Your Voice: Ree
What is your name? Ree Ford
Where do you volunteer? I volunteer both with the Minnesota Literacy Council as well as with Hmong American Partnership.
What is your volunteer role? Community Outreach Intern (at the literacy council) and Study Lab Tutor (at HAP)
What is your favorite thing about volunteering? I love getting to know the students that I work with and the other volunteers, as well as the staff at each site I've been to. Everyone I've met so far is beyond welcoming and always willing to give you assistance when you need it. When I was volunteering at the Franklin Learning Center last spring I loved it when the whole community would get together to celebrate a student passing their citizenship exam or GED test. The staff would announce it to the whole learning center, give the student time to speak if they wished, and would even sometimes bring food for everyone to enjoy. It was wonderful!
What is something you've learned from a student? From volunteering I've learned both patience and flexibility. Sometimes students take a little longer to understand a concept and that's completely OK! In response a volunteer should be flexible and willing to adapt to the learning style of their student. Occasionally this may take a little time but I always feel just as excited as the student when I see the idea finally click.
What is your motivation for volunteering? Ever since I entered college I’ve known that I want to do something in the community. Something that would create long-lasting, systematic change to better the lives of both individuals and families alike. At first I had no idea what this would mean, and I'm still learning every day, but volunteering has given me the opportunity to explore as well as see firsthand the impact organizations have all around Minnesota. One of the factors that really attracted me to the Minnesota Literacy Council was its history. The belief that if “one person was taught to read, and that person taught someone to read, they could create a movement” resonates strongly with me and I wanted to be a part of this chain of learning.
What is your favorite book and why? I just finished When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. I'm a huge fan of young adult fiction and this story is definitely listed in my top ten. McLemore does an amazing job in portraying a diversity of identities, cultures, and views. I promise, if you enjoy magical realism and young adult literature you'll love this book!
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.