Mentor Moment: Chelsea Dexter

Chelsea Dexter, mentor

Power Read is a natural fit for Chelsea Dexter, a police officer in West Des Moines who works in community outreach. “A lot of kids need a positive influence in their lives, and to interact with a diverse group of people,” Chelsea says. “I’m able to do that through both mentoring and my job.” Power Read also allows Chelsea to foster a love of books. “I love reading personally,” she says, “but a lot of times the kids think of reading to learn. It’s important for them to know that adults like reading, that it can be fun.” Chelsea attributes much of the program’s success to support from everyone involved. “My job is demanding, but when I started reading, I said I needed to take my lunch at a certain time and my department supported it,” she says. “Likewise, if I get called out, Everybody Wins is supportive. But it’s also the schools who support our program. The teachers make time for our students, the kids are allowed to cut to the front of the line in the lunchroom, and the mentors support the students for all the reasons they’re there.” Chelsea, who has mentored most of the past 11 years, currently reads at Crestview School of Inquiry in Clive.