Please join us in congratulating Mercedes Santiago - Words Alive Volunteer of the Month for April 2018!
Mercedes has been a Words Alive Volunteer for over two years. She is a devoted reader who brings consistency and positive energy to each of her Read Aloud Program sessions. Mercedes is also one of the first to respond to fill in for a fellow reader. She has volunteered for the organization's annual fundraiser, the Author's Luncheon as well. We rely so much on commitment and follow through, and Mercedes exemplifies those traits in a volunteer.
Thanks, Mercedes, for your commitment and enthusiasm!
Check out the Volunteer of the Month Interview with Mercedes Santiago below:
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Mercedes Santiago and I retired after 38 years of being a school counselor for San Diego Unified School District. I'm very grateful that I had such a wonderful career supporting teachers, administrators, parents and those amazing students. Just as my career was fulfilling my retirement is equally as rich. I enjoy new experiences, salsa dancing, the arts, yoga, meditating and volunteering. Life is too good to sit back and not participate!
How did you get involved with Words Alive?
I must thank my friends, Charlene Sapien and Estela Salazar, who introduced me to Words Alive. Reading has been the perfect vehicle to be part of student's lives.
What is the most rewarding part of your volunteer role(s)?
Seeing the children smiling so happy when you enter the classroom is just as thrilling and exciting for me as it is to them. I really like to spend time listening to the student's understanding of the message and how it relates to them. I like to expound upon self-respect and tolerance whenever the book bridges these topics. I truly look forward to our time together.
What have you been reading lately?
I love having a book in my hand and presently I'm enjoying Howard Cutler M.D. & His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness. Cutler writes that Dali tells you that happiness is the purpose of life and that every motion of our life is towards happiness. How to get there has always been the question. For me, it's service to others that truly makes me happy.
Thank you all for bringing joy to children.