Senior Teen Leader Spotlight: Emilee

Highlighting Youth Voices In Their Own Words


Age: 16, 11th Grade
Neighborhood: East Harlem
Favorite Book: Divergent Series
Subject I Want to Learn More About: History, the 1600s
Career Aspirations: Detective or High School Teacher

I feel like I’m part of the Read Alliance family.

Part of the Family

I feel like I’m part of the Read Alliance family. The staff is really supportive and they always make me feel welcome, which I love because a lot of teenagers work in retail, and they don’t really make any connections with people. But Read Alliance connects me to opportunities and helps me strive for the dreams I’ve always wanted.

Meaningful Connection

I started working with Read Alliance as a freshman because I love helping people, especially children of color—they go through a lot, and I know what that’s like. I live here in East Harlem and go to school here, so I wanted to help my community out. But I’ve stuck with Read Alliance because they’ve given me a lot of opportunities to get out and network. I always try to go to the extra Read Alliance events, and it has really helped my social skills. Plus, you know, it looks good on my college transcript!

Natural Leader

I love being a Senior Teen Leader because I’ve always liked being in charge—I’m in charge at home most of the time because my mom works a lot. As a Senior Teen Leader you have to be assertive but also kind, someone approachable my peers can come to when they need help. Finding that balance came naturally to me.

The Read Alliance family includes over 700 Teen Leaders and 30 Senior Teen Leaders this year. Your support helps provide training, meaningful employment and continuous support for these young leaders.