Robert Hamill is one of the longest-term mentors at Everybody Wins! Iowa, having been a volunteer since 2005. Robert volunteers at Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines and has been named Mentor of the Month for March 2020. Not only did Robert attend Monroe Elementary School as a youth, but his mother lives nearby and works as a substitute teacher regularly. “It has been a fun way to give back to a place that gave so much to me,” Robert said.
Robert lives in Beaverdale and graduated from Grand View in 2004. When Robert is not volunteering, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, and he likes basketball and soccer. His wife, Lyndsey, is also a mentor at Everybody Wins! Iowa at King, and they have two daughters, Claire and Isla.
Robert’s current student is Suado. “This is our first year together and it has been fun getting to know her. She’s very smart and always asks insightful questions about the stories we read. I really enjoy seeing her think through the situations in our books because she’s so good at it,” he said. Robert believes that his student benefits from the Everybody Wins! Iowa Power Read Program and has noticed growth. “She has seemed more comfortable and engaged over the course of the year,” he said.
Robert himself has benefited from being a mentor, as well. “I recently ran into one of the students I mentored with a few years ago. We read together for four years and we became pretty good friends, but then he moved on to middle school. I didn’t even recognize him when he first approached me. I kind of recognized his face but I couldn’t place it. I was so excited to see him when I realized who it was. We talked for several minutes and I [got to meet] his dad. It was cool [that] he remembered me and came over to say hello,” Robert said.
Robert had this to say about Everybody Wins! Iowa: “EWI’s Power Read is a great program. It’s an easy commitment in terms of time, and it’s fun to be around the kids. I’ve been impressed with the expansion of the program over time and how well it has retained so many volunteers. Several of the Monroe volunteers have been doing it at least as long as I have. That shows how much folks like it and value giving their time.”
Thank you for your years of service, Robert!