Stories of Service: Amber Matkowski

AmberMy experience with AmeriCorps was truly life changing. I completed two years of service, during my junior and senior year at Christopher Newport University. Alternatives Inc. is such a warm and friendly organization to work with. They made it a priority to train us not only to be thorough workers, but to be passionate advocates, exceptional leaders, and supportive team members. They showed me the importance of knowing your program and your team inside and now. By the end of my AmeriCorps service, I felt like I could quickly and efficiently solve problems and take on big challenges. I am so thankful for the mentorship of Ally Graul. She has played such a huge part in shaping me into the woman I am today.

After graduating in 2013, I held quite a few positions trying to really find something I was passionate about. In March of 2015, I moved from my home in Philadelphia, across the country to Denver, CO. It was a scary experience to move so far away and take on so much responsibility for the first time. Before I moved, I had found a job posting to work with a non-profit called Reading Partners. Similar to my AmeriCorps service, this organization focused on empowering young people, this time through literacy. I began working with Reading Partners in August 2015 as a Reading Center Coordinator. I work full time in a Denver Public Elementary School. My daily role is scheduling, training and coaching volunteer tutors in our reading curriculum. My center serves nearly 50 students with the 75 volunteers that I oversee. Reading Partners is a national organization focused on increasing literacy rates in elementary school students. We partner with AmeriCorps members as well, to fill some of our positions across the country. I am so thankful to have found an organization that feels as warm and family-like as Alternatives Inc. did. Both are wonderful non-profits that gives students necessary skills to succeed in their futures.

If you are interested in learning more about Reading Partners program in Washington, DC, or would like to volunteer for an hour a week to help build a students literacy skills, visit http://readingpartners.org/location/washington-dc/.

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