Volunteer Spotlight – Laurie Cosgrove
At New Chapters our volunteers share our passion to inspire a love of books in at-risk youth. This is the second in the series for our blog, Volunteer Spotlight, where we ask one of our volunteers a few questions.
Today, we introduce Laurie, who joined the New Chapters volunteer team in January 2016. Laurie comes to us with a wealth of library experience as she has volunteered in various libraries throughout the area working with elementary, middle, and high school students. She is our go to girl for books; someone who seems to know every book on our shelves and then some. Laurie has a special rapport with the kids and always has a book recommendation ready for each one, depending on their interests. If we don’t have a particular book in our library that a youth requests, she makes sure that we get it! Laurie can be found volunteering in our libraries at Polk County Juvenile Detention Center, Youth Homes of Mid-America and YESS each week where she assists the youth with book selections.
Thank you, Laurie, for your time and for your support of the kids and the New Chapters’ mission!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a wife and mom of 3. My 2 older boys are in college at Iowa State and my daughter is a sophomore in high school.
How did you get involved with New Chapters?
Stacie Palmer and I have been friends for years and have volunteered on many committees together. She reached out to me when she saw a need to expand and grow the organization!
What are you most excited about in your volunteer role with New Chapters?
The thing I enjoy the most is working with the kids and trying to inspire them to expand their minds or think differently through reading. Whether it is encouraging them to pick up a book for the first time or introducing them to a new type of book, each interaction is an opportunity to make a positive impact on these kids.
How has volunteering had an impact on you?
Volunteering has always been a fabric of my being, but the work we do through New Chapters fills my heart. The various interactions with the kids run the gamut. Whether it is the excitement of someone who connected with a book or the challenge of the reluctant or hard to please reader, each one inspires me to go above and beyond to try and make what we do leave a bigger impression on the kids.
What is your favorite book?
I really don’t have a favorite. I find something I love in almost every book I read 🙂
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I keep myself busy volunteering on other projects, reading and spending time with family/friends.
What do you wish other people knew about New Chapters?
I wish people would understand how big of an impact our program has on these kids. Many of them choose reading as their escape and we are there to provide them with the opportunity to do that. Some of these kids go from facility to facility and we have tried to connect those dots so that we can be a constant for them in their sometimes inconsistent lives. The impact that we make is bigger than what you see on the surface. It isn’t just about books.
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.