Volunteer Spotlight – Katie SheilsMay 25th, 2017
Meet Katie! If you have ever called or stopped by the LCMC office on a Wednesday morning, you have likely been greeted by the friendly face or voice of Katie Sheils, one of our dedicated and cheerful front desk volunteers who help us manage the flow of calls and visitors, whether from prospective students, current students, teachers, volunteers, or anyone calling to find out more information about our services. Katie makes a point of keeping up with the latest news at LCMC so she can be counted on to help callers and visitors by providing the most up-to-the-minute and accurate information. We are so grateful for all her help!
- What motivated or inspired you to become an LCMC volunteer?
After retiring from teaching for 36 years, I wanted to contribute to my community in a meaningful capacity and what better way than helping adults navigate their way to improved literacy at the Literacy Council of Montgomery County. In my previous work in public school settings, I noticed many parents who did not speak English and who were unable to help their children in school. The services the Literacy Council provides is invaluable for the many adults that are incredibly motivated and eager to learn English.
- How long have you been an LCMC volunteer?
I have been volunteering at the LCMC front desk for a little over a year.
- What is some advice you can give to future LCMC volunteers or tutors?
My advice to future volunteers would be – Don’t hesitate to jump into giving the gift of your time – the rewards are many. I love helping everyone I encounter at the front desk. The relationships I witness the tutors and their students building are so special and lasting. It is amazing to think there are hundreds of tutors all over Montgomery County helping out!
- What is your favorite aspect of volunteering?
I find it rewarding to help prospective students locate specific services that meet their individual needs. I also love getting to know the tutors, teachers, staff and students. They are all very committed to the work they do!
- What are some obstacles that you face as a volunteer?
Many non-English speaking adult learners approach their first phone call or interview and assessment with trepidation. They are unsure of their next steps and how to communicate. I do my best to help them feel comfortable and encourage their attempts at speaking English.
- How has being an LCMC volunteer impacted your life?
I enjoy sharing LCMC’s important work with friends, family and acquaintances, as well as sharing the numerous inspiring success stories about adult learners improving their literacy skills, accessing classes or completing their GED.