Volunteer Spotlight – Lisa Severino
At New Chapters our volunteers share our passion to inspire a love of books in at-risk youth. This is the fourth in our Volunteer Spotlight series, where we ask one of our volunteers a few questions.
Today, we would like you to meet Lisa, who joined the New Chapters volunteer team in 2018. As an avid reader, Lisa brings a wealth of book knowledge that is invaluable as she assists the kids in their book selections. She is compassionate and always has a warm smile to greet the kids. She is one of our Reading Incentive Program Coordinators who works tirelessly to thoughtfully create quarterly incentive programs that are challenging yet fun for the kids. Lisa currently volunteers at YESS during our weekly library evening hours and at Youth Homes of Mid-America to fill in when she can.
Thank you Lisa! We are truly grateful for your time and talent and for all that your are doing to support the kids at our New Chapters Libraries!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a mom to two great kids – my son has graduated from college and my daughter is a junior at Iowa. I also graduated from Iowa and have my CPA license. I work at Bluestone Engineering as their VP of Accounting and HR and have been there about 10 years after having my own accounting business when my kids were younger.
How did you get involved with New Chapters?
I have always loved books and libraries (and kids!) and when I found out about New Chapters through Claire and Stacie, I knew this would be a great fit for me.
What are you most excited about in your volunteer role with New Chapters?
I love seeing the kids get excited about their time in the library and how much a book can impact someone. It doesn’t matter what the reading level is, there is always a book to be read and enjoyed. I enjoy getting to know the kids through the books they choose.
How has volunteering had an impact on you?
As we all get busy in our own lives, we tend to forget how much spending just a little of our own time can potentially have a lifetime impact on someone else. The ripple effect is amazing!
What is your favorite book?
That’s a tough one! My favorite genre is historical fiction.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I enjoy seeing live theatre, traveling, biking and cheering on the Hawkeyes. Oh, and of course, reading!
What do you wish other people knew about New Chapters?
New Chapters is a labor of love and passion. There was a need in the community and to see how much the books are appreciated is pretty amazing. I didn’t realize how much crossover there was between the organizations providing support services to youth in the Des Moines area until I became involved in New Chapters. This has also spurred opportunities for growth for New Chapters and how many libraries we have across the Des Moines area, trying to make sure kids have the resources available to encourage reading.
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.