Volunteer Spotlight – Ashley Kirvin
At New Chapters our volunteers share our passion to inspire a love of books in at-risk youth. This is the seventh in our Volunteer Spotlight series, where we ask one of our volunteers a few questions.
Today we are excited to introduce to you Ashley, the newest member of our volunteer team. Ashley had previously volunteered with us while in college and during the early days of our summer reading programs at YESS. After graduation Ashley worked as a child life specialist for four years before moving back to Des Moines. Ashley’s passion is working with kids, and we are thrilled to have her back on a more permanent basis! Ashley has a big role in managing our libraries at Orchard Place Campus. She is also responsible for planning our monthly reading parties there. Ashley is talented, enthusiastic, compassionate, and humble. Her passion for kids shines through in everything she does and we are grateful to have her on our New Chapters team!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in the Des Moines area and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where I worked as a child life specialist in a children’s hospital for about four years. I recently moved back to Des Moines, and am thrilled to be closer to my family and friends.
How did you get involved with New Chapters?
I volunteered briefly with New Chapters when I was home on my college breaks. I’ve always loved working with kids, so in moving back, I called Stacie to see if I could get involved again. I am thankful that New Chapters has grown extensively and they need a bit more help!
What are you most excited about in your volunteer role with New Chapters?
In volunteering, and in life, I will always be most excited to work with kids. They are the reason this organization has come alive. I love getting to spend a bit of time with them each month talking about books, the craft and their days. Spending time with these kids is soul nourishing. One quickly learns that these kids are far more than their traumas. And they have far more potential than one could ever imagine.
How has volunteering had an impact on you?
When volunteering, it’s impossible to overlook the resilence of each and every child. It’s humbling, it’s awe-inspiring, and it fuels my desire to keep volunteering.
What is your favorite book?
My favorite books as a teen were The Hunger Games series. My two recent favorites are Where the Crawdads Sing and The Defining Decade.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
Outside of volunteering I love to teach and practice yoga. I love to travel, I macrame, read, and look after my houseplants.
What do you wish other people knew about New Chapters?
As a younger and smaller organization, New Chapters lacks nothing in enthusiasm, heart, or vision.
About New Chapters Libraries
At New Chapters, our collective passion is to inspire a love of books among at-risk youth. We believe that strong reading skills are essential for every child and that a good book can be very therapeutic and offer a ‘vacation’ from the hardships of everyday life.
New Chapters is committed to making a wide variety of current and high-interest books readily available by creating and refurbishing libraries in residential facilities catering to at-risk children. We also conduct programs aimed at fostering a love of books and increasing reading skills.