I first heard about Read to Succeed when I was in middle school. My mom would always take me to the Milpitas Library two or three times a week to check out books and do homework.
There were flyers for a summer program that advertised help in reading comprehension and writing. My mom signed me up for the program, and I started attending Read to Succeed the summer before 7th grade.
I was paired up with my tutor, Effie, and a few other kids in my grade level. Effie chose the book The Giver and we would read a few chapters on our own every night and come back and talk about the book. Not only did my reading comprehension drastically improve in that one summer, I had a very enjoyable time in the process.
In junior high, I signed up to be a tutor at Read to Succeed at the Milpitas Library. Tutoring students taught me a lot about working with young children. It was my first time working with children, and I really enjoyed the engaging experience. I also was awarded with “Tutor of the Year” at the end of the summer.
A couple of years passed and I was a sophomore in high school. Jamie, the founder of Read to Succeed, asked if I was interested in expanding the program to my hometown, Fremont. Being very interested, I got in contact with Fremont Main Library and got the program up and running.
Fast forward to summer, I had about twenty tutors and about fifty learners. The experience was no easy task, but it was extremely rewarding. At the end of the summer, parents and librarians were asking if Read to Succeed was happening the next summer.
Because of the popularity of the program, I decided to coordinate the program again the next summer. Having previous experience with Read to Succeed, I strived to follow up on the feedback I received from parents, tutors, and learners and make Read to Succeed an even better program the next time around.
I was able to acquire a few more tutors to accommodate more learners. However, signups for the program filled up in only two days as many of the learners from the previous year returned. It was saddening to turn away dozens of eager learners away due to the lack of space for them.
Not being able to coordinate the program for another year due to my going away for college, I passed the coordinator role to a very involved and hardworking tutor who coordinated the program the consequent year.
Now in my third year of college, I was invited by Jamie to join the leadership board of Read Write Discover, previously Read to Succeed. It’s great seeing how the behind-the-scenes stuff works in Read Write Discover and how much the program has expanded to many cities around the Bay Area.Austin Yu, Current RWD Director, Former Coordinator, Former Student