Highlighting Youth Voices In Their Own Words
Age: 15, 11th grade
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
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.
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.