October 1-5 is National Tutoring Week, where education organizations across the country recognize those who help teach learners of all ages. Indy Reads classrooms are built around the support of volunteer tutors, and one of the ways we’ll be celebrating our volunteers this week with a series of volunteer spotlights.
Katie is a tutor in our literacy Community Classroom at Central Library and is a fierce advocate for Indy Reads. We sat down with this Salesforce employee to learn more about why she supports the cause of adult literacy.
When did you start volunteering with Indy Reads?
I’ve been a volunteer since February of this year.
Tell me why you chose to volunteer with Indy Reads.
I’ve been interested in Indy Reads for a long time and then Jennifer [Malins, Indy Reads’ Vice President of Programs] and Ryan [King, Indy Reads’ CEO] came to our company one day just to kind of give an informational talk and it seemed like all the stars were aligned.
You mentioned your company. Where do you work?
I work at Salesforce. I’m an Executive Assistant. I work for the technology and product executives that are mostly based here in Indianapolis. It’s an absolutely fantastic company to work for and they have a real culture about giving back to the communities where our offices are.
Could you tell me three things that you enjoy about working with Indy Reads students?
I absolutely love tutoring with Indy Reads, it’s the highlight of my week sometimes. I love the passion that adult learners bring to what they’re doing. You know, everyone who’s there wants to be there. They are working towards a goal, you can tell how much it means to them.
What have students taught you in the classroom?
One of the most important things I’ve learned is how it’s never too late to make these huge changes in your life. So many of these students aren’t just adults, but they’re older adults. There’s so much bravery and so much passion that they all show just by showing up. I love it.
When you talk about Indy Reads with other people, what do you say?
I talk about Indy Reads all the time. I talk about the huge impact it’s had on my life to work with these adult learners. I talk about how much I learned through being part of Indy Reads about the literacy problem in Marion County, specifically and Central Indiana in general. So many of us who are at a higher reading level don’t think about all of those things.
Tell me something interesting about yourself.
I’m doing a book challenge this year where I’m reading a book a week. And I have a whole series of categories that I was supposed to fill. I’m currently on track to finish my 52 books. It’s been really amazing, it’s really broadened the things I read.
This may be more difficult to answer now that you’ve started this new book challenge, but what’s your favorite book?
I think my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve come back to it a zillion times over my life and it never stops being that book that made me feel like I understood literature in a way that I hadn’t before.