(part of a monthly series)

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

I am a full-time MBA student at UGA’s Terry College of Business, and I learned about Books for Keeps through my program’s Non-Profit Board Fellows Program. The program connects MBA students with Athens-area non-profits and students serve as nonvoting, ex officio members through the four semesters of the MBA program. I knew immediately after learning about Books for Keeps and its mission that I’d love to be part of the organization. Luckily the Books for Keeps team felt the same way! 😊

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

I have been serving with Books for Keeps since August of 2018 as a board member and as part of the Community Development and Marketing Committees.

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

I come from a family of educators and have been an avid reader since I was very young. I believe reading played a huge part in my early development, and the mission of Books for Keeps is one that I feel incredibly passionate about.

Have you had an inspiring/memorable interaction with a student since working with Books for Keeps? (This can be a direct interaction or something you observed.) If so, tell us about it.

At my first book distribution this past spring, I had one particular interaction that still makes me tear up (in the best way!) to this day. A kindergartner asked me to help her pick out her books, so we made our way around the different tables in the media center and she chose books she was excited about. When we got to the 12th book, I excitedly let her know we had picked out all 12! She looked up at me and said “Can I put one back and pick another? That way we can spend more time together.” I melted right there. We exchanged a book to buy a little more time 😊 and then we sat down in line together to read one of the books she had chosen – it was a magical moment!

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

As an undergrad at UGA, I was involved with UGA Miracle and Special Olympics. I lived in Denver for several years after college and was involved with an organization called All-Stars Club, which is a non-profit ministering to special needs children and adults.

What strengths are you bringing to Books for Keeps?

My background in marketing and business and my enthusiasm and passion for reading, children’s literacy and the Athens community!

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

My first book distribution! I was helping out with the kindergarten and first-grade distributions at Gaines Elementary School, and it was just incredible to see the excitement and joy from the students that morning. It was an experience I will never forget.

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

Whenever I think about reading as a child, I think back to my absolute favorite book series when I was little – The Babysitter’s Club: Little Sister books. I think I must have been drawn to them early on because I was a little sister myself, but I could not get enough of those books. I still remember how proud I was the first time I finished one of those books in a day. It was through those books that I came to love reading!

What is your absolute favorite book?

This is very difficult to narrow down but my favorite book of the last several years is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

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

Another very tough question – can it be one book series? 😊 I grew up with the Harry Potter series (the first book came out when I was in 5th grade), and I could read that series over and over again.