Lori is the kind of person who sees the best in others, and looks for antidotes to unpleasantness in the world. She first became aware of the incredible difference Literacy Advance volunteers make through her husband, who volunteers on our Board of Directors. Although she has a teaching background and a lot of volunteering experience, Lori wasn’t quite sure what tutoring here was all about.
She contacted us in May 2017 and didn’t waste any time! Over the next few weeks, she came to a Story Time tour to learn about volunteering opportunities; completed English as a Second Language tutor training to become familiar with our philosophy, policies, and procedures; and she observed a Waiting Class to see the theory in action.
Lori began tutoring her first group of adults in two-hour lessons, two afternoons a week. She was smitten! She came out of each lesson with a smile on her face and beamed when she shared stories with the staff of how students supported each other and made progress. As her admiration for the students in her class grew, her encouragement and ability to recognize even small successes as progress kept them motivated, even through post-Harvey challenges.
Lori’s caring heart found a new source of inspiration, and so did we. We’re excited to welcome Lori back this year for another round of classes!
What brought you to Literacy Advance?
I have been volunteering in different capacities for the past few years. I had recently worked as a volunteer with the Houston Sports Authority for the Paralympic Games and then with the Super Bowl Host Committee. I was looking for a new path to embark upon when my husband told me about Literacy Advance.
He had been invited to join the Board and was so impressed by the mission and work being done. He knew that it was just what I had been looking for!
After completing the tutor training and sitting in on a summer class, I was hooked! The staff, tutors, and students make this such a worthwhile endeavor.
What do you most enjoy about volunteering?
I think that I am a born nurturer. I do love "caring for and encouraging the growth of someone or something." I adored my 2nd grade teacher and told myself that I would be just like her one day. Never wavering, I did receive my degree in education and taught for several years.
I am proud to have nurtured my own two wonderful children and volunteered with PTAs and booster clubs along the way. The constant in my various volunteer activities is that I enjoy helping, encouraging, and supporting others.
Lori teaches her class about Halloween, in the fall of 2017 -
and the best learning always includes hands-on experience!
What inspires you?
Seeing the good that everyday people do every day is my inspiration. We are often bombarded with the bad behavior of people in the world, yet we need not look too hard or too far to see the good that people do in big and small ways. From Harvey relief, layaway Santas, and simple pay-it-forward acts of kindness, the good we can do is inspiring.
What would you say to other people thinking about volunteering?
Volunteering gives you a chance to be a part of the kind of community and world in which you want to live. You can become an active participant in making the world a better place! Your actions, whether big or small, can have an impact on someone's life. We are all in this together and need to support each other.
What’s your favorite hobby?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and making sure they know how important they are to me. I also enjoy travelling and love reading about, researching, and planning the perfect vacation.
Lori and husband Chris on vacation in Italy
Thank you, Lori!
Don't forget our previous spotlights!