Currently Serving AmeriCorps VISTA Members
These AmeriCorps VISTA Members are a valued part of our team:
Teresa Hasan-Kerr, Literacy Volunteer AmeriCorps Member, YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South
I serve because literacy has been a tool paramount to my own empowerment, and it can make a difference in my city. I’ve seen that personally and statistically, there are many people in Memphis who can benefit from stronger literacy skills. That means there are individuals who can have a better quality of life, provided the right support. Everyone’s story is different. I moved a lot growing up and missed a lot of school. There were times when I was in a gifted program and there were times when my reading comprehension was below average. However, I did get the support I needed. Later, summers spent in libraries were my entire world and I loved it! There wasn’t any book I couldn’t read and that confidence carried over to facing other challenges later in life. Developing new skills shows a person that they are capable of facing new information and adapting it to their goals in life. Everyone’s life has value. I firmly believe it’s both possible and important for us all to live empowered lives, so serving is that belief in action.
Sean Moore, Family Literacy Volunteer AmeriCorps Member, Literacy Mid-South
I serve because I believe that community members working together can build a better, more just Memphis for all. Realizing this goal takes work and dedication, but leads to more equitable and cohesive communities, as well as personal growth. Service to Memphis is a way for me to give back to a city that has granted me many opportunities and to work to make those opportunities more accessible to all members of our community.
I am dedicating a year of service to Literacy Mid-South because achieving literacy for all Memphians is a key component of breaking cycles of generational poverty and opening up new opportunities for our neighbors and our city. But I also choose to serve at LMS because the privilege of reading is a foundational part of my life—it is a window into new worlds, an avenue to challenge and console myself, and a source of pure joy. It is an honor to be able to spread the gift of reading in the city I call home.
Mac Hurst, Information Management Team AmeriCorps Member, Literacy Mid-South
Personally, I serve because I love my community. I want to be a part of its growth and success, and want to help make it a great place to live. All children deserve the opportunity to learn to use reading and writing meaningfully in their lives to become literate! A lifelong literacy journey can begin with small but exciting steps as your children experience the thrill of getting lost in a story, or the power of expressing their own ideas in writing.
Learning to read and write is not just about learning new skills. Although it does involve learning skills, literacy is so much more than this. It is about learning to use reading and writing in real and important ways. When we help children and adults become readers and writers, we give them the key to a worldwide community. But, this does not happen overnight and we need to help spark their literacy, and then keep it going by inspiring and encouraging them. Being an apart of Literacy Mid-South provides me the opportunity to make a positive impact on the children and adults in the communities, while at the same time working toward a long term systemic change.
Carolyn Jennings, Reading Program Developer AmeriCorps Member, Emmanuel Center
For me, books are like food; without them, I starve. I serve with Literacy Mid-South because if I can help one child learn to read, to read better, or to instill a love of reading, then I will have given a gift to my community that will continue to flourish.