Nicole has always been an advocate of literacy. Having visited her librarian’s house for tea as a child, earning a college degree in English, and now taking her own children to the library as a reward of their own choosing, Reading Corps has given her the chance to naturally return to the workforce as a reading tutor after being a stay-at-home mom.
Growing up in a family of educators, Nicole didn’t see herself as one until she had her children. Once her first started preschool, she found herself volunteering at his school and in the community. Her younger followed, and with her extra time at home, she searched for an opportunity that would combine her two priorities. “I knew I wanted to have work-life balance, and I didn’t just want a job,” she says. “I wanted to feel like I was involved in my community in some way and having a positive impact.”
Now in her fourth term as a Reading Tutor, she can proudly say she has fulfilled her priorities. Serving in Eastern Carver County at the same school as her sons, she’s gotten to stay on their schedules and even see them throughout the day. “When I first started, my youngest was in kindergarten, and his classroom was right across from my tutoring room,” she says. “When they would all line up at the door, he would lean out and wave at me, ‘hi mommy.’ I’d pass him in the hallway, and he’d give me a big hug.”
Similarly, Nicole also spends her time making a difference in her community through helping students learn to read. “I realized just how rewarding it is to build relationships with these little people while they’re developing,” she says.
After completing her final year, she wants to continue her path of community service, as the impact she makes was the reason she returned to Reading Corps. “I couldn’t imagine not going back and not being there as a part of their support system,” she says. “As one person, it can feel so overwhelming, what can you do? Well, you have to do something. I can have a positive effect on my family. I can have a positive effect on my neighborhood, I can have a positive effect on my town. I can put little ripples out into my community, and hopefully it will create bigger ripples, and we can together collectively do something to improve the state of our world.”
Students in Eastern Carver County still need 9 tutors! To make a difference like Nicole, visit Join.ReadingandMath.org to find tutor jobs near you.