Meghan Robinson’s relationship with community service began long before she served as a Literacy First tutor. As early as middle school, Meghan was already an active volunteer, giving her time to organizations like Head Start and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In college, she continued to volunteer her time as a bilingual Spanish tutor, little knowing that she would bring her tutoring talents to Austin after graduation.
When Meghan applied to serve with Literacy First during her senior year of college, it was a match made in heaven. She felt excited to dedicate a year of her life to community service, of course, but her connection to Literacy First’s mission ran even deeper: her dedication to early literacy originated in her own family. Although she and her siblings attended excellent schools, she watched her brother struggle with reading throughout his childhood. “He didn’t learn to read until fourth grade,” she remembers, and she jumped at the chance to help other struggling young students with their reading skills. Even more importantly, Literacy First service would also give her a chance to address social injustice. “The difference between my brother and the children Literacy First tutors,” she points out, “is that the overwhelming majority of the children that [Literacy First] tutors do not have the advantages that were given to my brother.”
According to Meghan, her two years as part of the Literacy First team “really solidified my passion for service and education.” Her time here also solidified what looks to be a lifelong interest in nonprofit work. After Literacy First, Meghan went on to earn her Master’s in Social Work from Boston College, in a program focusing on nonprofit management. From there, she returned to AmeriCorps and literacy tutoring by joining the staff of Minnesota Reading Corps (with whom Literacy First has partnered in the past) and Minnesota Math Corps. It’s hard to imagine a more natural extension of her time with us!
Though Meghan may have moved on from Austin, Literacy First will always have a special place in her heart—and that’s part of the reason she has become a donor to our program. “I give to Literacy First because I wholeheartedly believe in the Literacy First mission and the ever-growing Literacy First family,” she says, calling us a “powerful program that ensures we are doing all we can to help students have a positive experience and relationship with reading and with school.”
Her enduring memory of Literacy First’s mission, however, will always be an “unbreakable sense of hope.” Reflecting on her time in Austin, she describes the reason she wants to remain part of the Literacy First family for as long as possible:
“In our society today, full of racial turmoil, global instability, failing schools, and rough economies, it’s easy to fall into depression. Yet with Literacy First, I was surrounded by a group of the most giving, loving, hard working, and passionate people who were truly making a measurable difference in so many lives, both students and tutors. The Literacy First family has proven (and continues to prove) that through good people and good partnerships, we can leave the world a better place than we found it.”
Alumni like Meghan give us hope. Thank you, Meghan, for staying part of our family, and for the hope that you’re bringing where it is needed most.