May 08, 2015 Articles

Giving Back Provides More than Warm Fuzzies

By Laura Liss

I first became involved with WITS (Working in the Schools) as a volunteer in 1999. After 10 minutes in the Midday Mentoring Program, I was hooked. The mission of WITS is to promote literacy and the love of learning in underserved Chicago Public School elementary students. WITS primarily focuses on early education, because if kids do not learn to read by the third grade, it is a challenge for them to ever catch up. The Midday Mentoring Program buses volunteers from businesses in the Chicago loop to public schools during the lunch hour, so that positive adult role models can read one-on-one with students in their classrooms.

After volunteering for a few years, I decided to join WITS’ associates board. The more I learned about the organization and the good WITS does on a daily basis, the more I wanted to contribute. So, a few years later, in 2007, I joined WITS’ board of directors. Then, in 2012, I was elected to WITS’ executive committee and have since served as vice president–legal. As a member of the board of directors and executive committee, among other commitments, I attend WITS’ quarterly board meetings and monthly executive committee meetings.

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