Mentor Feature: Amanda Bjornson

Name: Amanda Bjornson

Age: 41

Occupation: Assistant Director of Strategy at Principal Financial Group

EWI Reading Site: Carver Community School

How long you’ve read with EWI: 9 years

Q: Favorite book (and why!)

A: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein; I just thought the book, through Enzo’s (the dog’s) eyes was very funny and inspirational.

Q: Why do you volunteer with Everybody Wins! Iowa?

A: I just love reading and want to share that love of reading with others. Also, I feel knowing how to read and being a successful reader is foundational to success in life. Students often get bogged down in having to read for assignments and don’t necessarily get the option to read for fun or enjoyment. The little time we get once a week hopefully opens students’ eyes to reading for fun with someone who they can have fun with.

Q: What changes have you seen in your student reader as you work together in the Power Read program?

A: With so many options for nonprofit or volunteer work in Central Iowa, what would you say to someone considering joining Everybody Wins! Iowa and the Power Read program? Power Read truly allows you to form a relationship with one student and stay with that student as they progress through school allowing you to see growth and improvement. Unlike other programs, your interactions are already planned so all you have to do is show up. Having a scheduled weekly commitment makes it so easy to have a huge, measurable impact on a child.

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