Teen Leader Spotlight: Jaylynn

Highlighting Youth Voices In Their Own Words

Jaylynn Diaz.JPG
  • Age: 15, 11th grade

  • Borough: Bronx

  • Favorite Book: Divergent series

  • Place I most want to visit: Dubai

  • Career Aspirations: Cardiothoracic surgeon

  • Halloween Costume: Luigi (my little brother wants to be Mario)

  • First Job: READ tutor

  • Favorite Gift: My little brother

You can’t quit READ because the kids are depending on you and your job is really important to them.

READing From An Early Age

When I was in first grade, I was in the READ program, too. I had some problems reading, especially reading out loud, so I hated books. But once I got help from READ, everything got better--my grades immediately went up and I learned to love reading. Working one on one with a teen leader really made a difference and gave me the support I and confidence I needed to become a successful student.

Patience & Commitment

Now as an eleventh grader, READ continues to teach me in my role as a teen leader. I've definitely learned patience--it takes a lot of patience to help kids. It's sometimes hard for the little kids to sit still or pay attention. You have to have patience and also remember to have fun.

I've also learned commitment. I used to join things after school and then quit because I didn't really care about them. But you can't quit READ because the kids are depending on you and your job is really important to them.

Hard Work

READ also taught me how to help my little brother, Ryder. When he was two, I wanted to help my mom out by starting to read with him. I thought becoming a READ teen leader would be a great way to learn new methods to teach him. To be honest, I thought it might be easy to be a teen leader. But you don't just point at the words and play games--it's really a lot of work. You have to make sure the kids comprehend the meaning of the stories, not just the words. You're not just teaching them to read the words but to really understand what they're reading.

In 2017 alone, READ employed 630 teens including Jaylynn. We need your support to employ committed teens and the students they tutor.