Editor’s note: In the spirit of our spring Nonprofit Issue, we reached out to volunteers from several local nonprofit organizations, asking them to reflect on what inspired them to begin their work and the impact it has had on both the community and themselves.
I have been volunteering with Literacy Together for 17 years. Teaching English for speakers of other languages is something I’ve wanted to do since I was in college. I’ve always loved meeting people from around the world, learning about new places and new cultures.
When my schedule opened up 17 years ago, calling up Literacy Together was one of the first things I did. My initial motivation was to give back. My grandfather and great-grandparents came to Philadelphia from Poland knowing no English, and people helped them along. I wanted to return the favor.
But I have stayed because teaching is incredibly rewarding for me. The moment a concept clicks in my student’s mind, it’s like winning a marathon. Seeing my students progress and interact with the English-speaking world more confidently and effectively is gratifying. Each step my students take forward is a step for the entire community as it allows them to expand ways that they can contribute and participate.
For more on Literacy Together, visit lit-together.org.