Community Impact Education Pathway Faces of Success: Jennifer Tom
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Faces of Success: Jennifer Tom

Jennifer Tom’s daily schedule keeps her busy. The EY employee works on one of the largest audit engagements in Nashville (HCA). She still finds time to escape the hustle and bustle of her daily routine by volunteering.

“We get so busy with work and life. It’s nice to step away and realize there are more important things,” said Tom.

EY is one of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s most engaged corporate partners. Every year, the firm closes down its office to partner with United Way for an annual day of service, known as EY Connect Day. Tom has always enjoyed participating in EY Connect Day, but she wanted to learn more about other United Way volunteer opportunities. After searching United Way’s website, she decided Volunteer Reading Days were a great fit.

“Our firm is very involved in giving back to the community. It is an important aspect of our work and widely encouraged. Volunteer Reading Days are great because they are not a huge time commitment, generally only requiring an hour of your time.”

Volunteer Reading Days are monthly engagement opportunities for volunteers to read to students at Read to Succeed sites. United Way’s Read to Succeed program prepares at-risk children with the basic reading readiness skills to prepare them for future educational success. Since 2010, more than 4,300 students have graduated from a program that currently has a 97 percent success rate in kindergarten preparedness. Tom is amazed by the academic progress she’s seen during her previous visits with Read to Succeed program students.          

“I have always enjoyed going into the classrooms and interacting with children. It's incredible how smart many of them are at such young ages.”

Research indicates that reading aloud to children presents books as sources of pleasant, valuable and exciting experiences. Children who value books are also increasingly motivated to read on their own. These important benefits made it easy for Tom to persuade her colleagues to join her in participating in Volunteer Reading Day opportunities.

“Most of the 12 Read to Succeed sites are close to where we work. Volunteer Reading Days are a great opportunity for all of us to get together as a team and give back to the community by spending time with these children. The time spent and attention given make them feel special.”

Tom hopes sharing her Volunteer Reading Days experience encourages others outside her organization to get involved.

“These opportunities are really fulfilling and rewarding. It’s amazing what volunteers are able to take away from their participation.”

If you are looking for some balance outside of your busy routine, consider participating in United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s Volunteer Reading Days.

For additional information about United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, including the Read to Succeed program and Volunteer Reading Days, please visit: https://www.unitedwaynashville.org/

To learn more about United Way's Education programs, click here.
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