(part of a monthly series)

How did you first hear or learn about Books for Keeps?

I learned about Books for Keeps when my daughter was in 4th grade and got to participate. Earlier in the year, I met Leslie to learn more about the organization and get some ideas about how to get involved. After speaking with her, I was ready to be a part of it! I thought it was a phenomenal idea that was much needed.

How long have you been volunteering or serving with Books for Keeps?

4 years as a volunteer, [this is my] 1st year as a board member.

Why did you choose to serve on the Books for Keeps’ board?

Anytime we advocate for literacy, we advance the growth of our community exponentially. Reading is the gateway to learning. Learning leads to growth. Being a part of the board gives me the opportunity to do something I am passionate about with some really cool people.

Have you had an inspiring/memorable interaction with a student since working with Books for Keeps?

The first time I volunteered for my first book distribution was at H. B. Stroud Elementary. I intended on splitting my shift with co-workers. However, we were all having so much fun , we all ended up staying for an entire shift! It was such an inspiring experience interacting with the kids and watching their excitement over the books…the kids’ excitement made us excited! They thanked us as if we’d done something really grand! It was a great feeling.

Have you worked with other non-profits in the past? Which ones?

I am an active youth and children’s volunteer with my church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, West. I also volunteer with the Rites of Passage Program and the Northeast GA Business Alliance. I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

What strengths are you bringing to Books for Keeps?

Since I am a scientist, one would think that my skill set would be quite different from others, but it is actually very similar. Having school-aged kids, it is highly important for me to ensure that all kids in my community have access to essentials for growth, like books. I am an analytical thinker and a problem solver by trade and I think that is a skill set shared among most working in community advocacy. I also hope to bring a fresh perspective to the board. We all have different experiences and perspectives, yet we all want to achieve the same goal, to make our community better!

What is your favorite memory from working with Books for Keeps?

I believe my favorite Books for Keeps memory is when my daughter and I volunteered at a book sale a couple of years ago. She even found titles that she had at home as a result of Books for Keeps or books that she wish she’d gotten. I think we talked for hours about series we’d read and ones we wanted to read. It was a wonderful introduction to volunteering for her + a great bonding experience for us both.

Do you have a keen childhood memory related to a particular book? Or an experience with reading – to yourself or to a loved one?

The one that sticks out in my mind is Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. I discovered Judy Blume during puberty, so it was perfect!

What is your absolute favorite book?

The answer is, I don’t really have one but here are a few of my favorites: Fiction – The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Non-Fiction – Becoming by Michelle Obama, Poetry – Ego Tripping (and other poems) by Nikki Giovanni.

What would you read if you could only read one book for the rest of your life?

That would be the Bible. It includes history, romance, drama, poetry, self-help and inspiration.