Well my story starts off when SMART first came out actually! My brothers were both in the program, then when I got to the age, my mother wanted to give me the chance to love reading like she does. Growing up, I hated reading until I found the SMART program. From 1999 to 2001 I was in the program as as a student. After the program, it changed my life! I went from reading books for punishment to crawling with a bunch of books in a corner and never stop reading because I loved being lost in those worlds.
Many years later, I found the program again, but this time I was determined to be a volunteer. When I was still in high school, I knew I couldn’t [volunteer] because I didn’t have enough time, but then when I got out of high school and I turned 18, I decided to try again. A few months later, now 19 years old, I got the job but instead of being a Reader, I became a Site Coordinator. I’ve only been working as one for a few months but I have to say this is another new experience for me, a good one and I have SMART to thank for that! I get to do the thing I love with children that I adore at the school I grew up in.
I have gotten to meet new people and connect to families, to children. For the past year I had been stuck in a rut and I haven’t read as much as I like to. But when I got back into the SMART program, I remembered why I loved reading again. There are so many reasons why to thank and love the SMART program. My story is just one of them, if I don’t inspire you then I am sure someone else with a different story can. I am just lucky my life has changed for the better for a second time thanks to this program!