Katie Collins - Words Alive Volunteer of the Month - January 2017

Please join us in congratulating Katie Collins Words Alive Volunteer of the Month for January 2017!

Katie began volunteering with Words Alive in October of this year. She is a full-time student at the University of San Diego, studying English, history, and education.  She joined us for the fall semester as an intern to help develop our Adolescent Book Group Program curriculum – a great learning opportunity for her, and a great help for the program!  She has been a wonderful addition, diligent in helping develop the program’s online content and web page, and creative with the advancement of our curriculum guides which we use program-wide to facilitate book group discussions in the classroom.  This January she will be traveling outside of the country to study abroad and has dedicated some time to continue her support of the program.

Katie, you have been such a professional and impressive volunteer intern, and we are so appreciative of the hard work you have done and continue to do for the Adolescent Book Group Program and for our organization.  Thank you!

Check Out the Volunteer of the Month Interview with Katie Below!

Katie, tell us a little about yourself! 
I am a junior at the University of San Diego, born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. I am double majoring in English and History with a minor in Education, and my dream is to teach in an underserved, urban area in the United States. My favorite things to do include reading, yoga, rock climbing, and trying out new coffee shops. I will be spending the next five months in Buenos Aires, Argentina in a study abroad program, living with a host family, and taking all of my classes in Spanish, which will be extremely challenging for me but equally rewarding. 

How long have you been volunteering with Words Alive, and how did you get involved? 
4 months - I googled foundations or organizations in San Diego where I could combine my love of reading with the goal of promoting literacy with a classroom element. Words Alive was the first result, and I looked into our website and contacted Christina immediately!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your volunteer service with Words Alive?
So far my favorite contribution has been the opportunity to read and analyze The Glass Castle for the Teen Services program where I intern with Theresa. This memoir was so powerful and one of my favorite books I read in 2016. I loved being able to create a curriculum guide from scratch, knowing that my work would directly influence and guide classroom discussions among the in-class volunteers and students of the program. It excites me that the schools we work with are departing from the purely Eurocentric literary canon in favor of more contemporary and diverse material, which is all the more poignant and crucial to promote, now more than ever.

And, by the way, what are you reading lately?
I am currently reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which was published about six months ago, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone! It follows two sisters in the late eighteenth century from a village in Ghana. One marries a slave-trader, and one is sold into slavery. I am almost finished with it, and I have no doubt that it is one of the best books that I have ever read. It is so important to promote own voice narratives and diverse literature. I cannot promote this novel enough.