Stories

Making an impact on young lives has power beyond the individual.

Read inspiring stories, and share yours.

“We worked together to tackle tough words, and at the end of the year she felt more confident." - Berte, volunteer tutor at Reading Partners

Berte Schachter

New York, New York

“I saw the piano as another form of literacy. Music is its own language.” - Norma, volunteer tutor at JCL

Norma Tarrow

San Mateo, CA

“I love being a part of the progress they make with reading over the course of a year.” - Tammy, volunteer tutor at Oasis

Tammy Kelly

San Antonio, TX

"By helping children have access to books at home, we hope to strengthen learning and instill a life-long love of reading."

Janet Roth

Peoria, IL

"Older workers . . . have a wealth of knowledge and experiences that we can share to make a child's journey easier."

Christina Merk

Cleveland, OH

"Giving back is so much fun and older workers have so much to give."

Matt Groshong

Seattle, WA

"Reading is power and I see how these children are empowered by it daily. It is my Christian duty to give back to society. I have chosen the children."

Vivian Freeman-Young

North Charleston, SC

"Don'€™t just sit at home. You'€™ve got something to give back. Give it. Give it to the young people."

Carleaner McKinney

Los Angeles, CA

"My encore is nothing I had ever imagined I would be doing. But once you meet these kids, and get involved, you can't stay away from it."

Elissa Garr

Potomac, MD

"Anyone who helps someone else read has done something to improve the human condition."  

Evelyn Kormanik

Staten Island, NY

"It is truly a blessing to be able to inspire children, especially youngsters who are disadvantaged, to enjoy and love reading."

Janet Noah

Los Angeles, CA

“Giving back is so much fun and older workers have so much to give.”

Matt Groshong

Seattle, WA

"I always had a burning desire to help kids who are like me -- motivated to play sports, but overlooked by my peers."

Joe Bock

Los Angeles, CA

"We give children a new vision of their past, so they can see their future."

Alexandreena Dixon

Suffern, NY

“I feel like the EFN fellowship was made expressly for me: It was my gateway into a new life. I found what I was meant to do: Use data to improve health care.”

Elisa Ross, MD

Cleveland, OH

“This job has changed my outlook on what’s truly important. It hits home, how you were able to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

Fred Gyger

Port Charlotte, FL

"Once I started working with kids, I realized this is what I want to do."

Dennis Kucler

Cleveland, OH

"What I enjoy most is being able to provide individual, practical information that helps the student stay on track." - Laura, Strive for College Mentor

Laura H. Gilbert

Roseville, MN

"I believe that good advice at an early age can change an individual's trajectory and thus, change the world." - Kevin, founder of TurtleWise

Kevin Walker

Victor, NY

"I make it my goal to expose young people to as many opportunities as possible, to help them find their
passion and someday make positive contributions to make our world a better place." - Diana, Boys and Girls Club Tutor

Diana Amatucci

Charlottesville, VA

"I remember asking myself, 'What would I want my children to be doing during the summer?'"

Edie Silver

Rochester, NY

"Children and adults need and desire compassion, time and someone to inspire them to believe in themselves." - Chandra, BGCA

Chandra Lemons

Peachcrest, GA

"This activity provides me with the chance to reach the younger audience and connect with them in a compassionate, caring way." - Rainy, Crisis Text Line Volunteer

Rainy Roth

Troy, MT

"Retirement can leave one feeling unfulfilled, if well-rested. Joining Experience Corps has satisfied my own need to be communally productive and purposeful."

Patty Brooks

Portland, OR

"I don't "do" charity. I just do what I'm supposed to do."

Lisa King Oliver

Grand Rapids, MI

"I was matched with my Little Sister when she was 8. Today she's 30 and we're still friends."
-- Bettylou, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Bettylou Steadman

San Dimas, CA

"I always seem to get more out of my volunteer activities than those that I set out to help."

Wiley Huff

Miami Shores, FL

"I play a tiny part in ensuring the next generation has a healthy foundation and a greater chance for success."

K. Marie Tyler

Hillsboro, OR

"Everyone can use a little extra help, and in my experience, the benefits -- and the pleasures -- flow both ways."

Jim Emerman

San Francisco, CA

"I am dedicated to helping traumatized children heal."

Helen Lakeru

Renton, WA

"The girls were caught in an endless cycle of teen pregnancy and illiteracy, with no role models to guide them."

Carol Nash

Laurel, MD

"It's rewarding to see teens I've worked with gain academically and improve attendance."

Joe Pendal

St. Paul, MN

“Kids are so often told they can’t. I wanted to tell them they can.”

Rob Laymon

San Pedro, CA

"This chapter of my life is dedicated to my children, whom we adopted as infants, and children like them."

Adam Pertman

Newton, MA

When Dawn's sons moved out and that "empty nest" feeling crept in, she volunteered as a Big Sister -- and asked for a Little Brother. -- Dawn, BBBS "Big"

Big Sister Dawn and Little Brother Philip

Owatonna, MN

"With my quilts, I educate children about the place where they live and its history."

Nedra Bonds

Kansas City, KS

"I set out to convince the first-graders how important it is to eat their fruits and vegetables."

Delaine Zody

Fresno, CA

"It is my joy to see the light in a child's face when they understand."

Calvin Leonard

Shaker Heights, OH

"I walk into the classroom for tutoring and the kids say, "Mr. Larry is here!"
-- Larry, Oasis Tutor

Larry Goering

St. Louis, MO

"It's like I spent the first part of my career toiling away in the 'minor leagues' and now have a chance to make a huge difference in the world."

Tom Pollak

Washington, DC

"I do fundraising, hugging and some scolding. I respect and appreciate the young people deeply."

Constance Caruso

Los Angeles, CA

"I'm committed to working with students who may be the first in their family to go to college."
-- Doretta, Strive for College Mentor

Doretta McGinnis

Gladwyne, PA

"In midlife, I realized I wanted to help society in another way, working with young people."

Monica Granados

Culver City, CA

"Often, young black men are marginalized and demonized. I want to reimagine them as entrepreneurs."

Henry Rock II

Charlotte, NC

"Through Strive, I mentored students online from three different states: California, Florida and Iowa."
-- Van, Strive for College Mentor

Van Dang

Saratoga, CA

"I promise to be a caring adult in my students' lives, no matter what."

William Lah

Hibbing, MN

"The youth call it a temple, a safe haven, because it's so much more than a gym."

Harry E. Cummins III

Toledo, OH

"I chose Bea as my mentor because she has more experience. She's like an encyclopedia!"
-- Eugen, Strive for College Mentee

Bea Hartman & Eugen Cotei

El Territo, CA

"It's no secret that young men like Demetrius from single parent homes need more adults in their lives."
-- Rob, via MENTOR

Rob Talley & Demetrius Peoples

Hanover, MD

"I look forward each week to coaching her on ways to develop her potential."
-- Beth, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Beth Osborne

Reno, NV

"To me, mentoring doesn't feel like a task or a burden. It's a great privilege."
-- David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR

David Shapiro

Jamaica Plain, MA

"For the foster children, I am like their grandmother as well as a leader in the community."

Mary Steele

Easthampton, MA

"Uniting an older adult with a child to provide literacy tutoring is my calling."

Phil Waters

Boston, MA

"Sometimes, I am the only stable person in a foster child's life."

Char Williams

Tennessee Colony, TX

"Investing time in children early will ensure a brighter future for them and our community."

Renita Wolf

Colorado Springs, CO

"I want to help young people open their minds to the different things that make life interesting."
-- Debra, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Debra Wright

Nanuet, NY

"Considering what's going on in many of our communities, what better contribution than to be personally available to a child."

Elzora Douglas

St. Louis, MO

“Children tell you about their dreams and hopes, and what they want to do when they grow up.”

Annette Shrager

Mesa, AZ

"Doing for others is truly part of my being and what makes me energized for life itself."

Janine Rouson

Raleigh, NC

"It does take a village to raise a child. I call that act of nurturing - volunteering."

David Porter

Portland, OR

"Telling young people, 'You can do a lot, if you have a guiding hand,' encourages them to be better."

Alexandreena Dixon

Suffern, NY

"I always talked about what schools were doing wrong. This was my chance to do something about it."

Larry Jemison

Cleveland, OH

If you've experienced the power of working with young people on projects that contribute to a better future for future generations, your first-person story can inspire others to follow your example.

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