Senior Teen Leader Spotlight: Réal

Highlighting Youth Voices In Their Own Words


Age: 17, Senior
Borough: Brooklyn
Favorite Book: Percy Jackson
Subjects I Want to Learn More About: Aviation, Computer Engineering
Most Important Quality in a Student: Perseverance

It’s something I look forward to every day after school.

More Than Just A Job

At first, I became a Teen Leader because I was looking for a job. Now I come back every day because I love it working with Read Alliance. I really like teaching the kids—it’s so fun! It’s something to look forward to every day after school.

Working With Kids

I work with a lot of different kids, and I learned that not everybody is the same. Every kid comes to the program knowing different things, so you have to understand their situation to help them improve. You also have to expect the unexpected. The little kids are always throwing curve balls at you, and you have to help them understand why it’s important to keep reading even when they’re rowdy. I try to make reading fun and engage them so they understand what’s going on in the stories and put them in the shoes of the characters so they can pretend they’re there.

Building Future Skills

I know being a Teen Leader will also help me with my future. It has taught me to be more understanding in different situations, to persevere and not want to give up on things. I play sports too, so my coach needs me at practice, but I also want to work with the READ kids. It can be hard doing both, but I learned how to balance my time.

This year 720 Teen Leaders across NYC will help their younger peers build basic reading abilities while developing their own leadership skills. Donate to Read Alliance to support their hard work and growth!