When it comes to the older kids, Companis Worker Rob Tyrrell has that covered. He’s volunteering with Minds Matter Seattle, a program that connects mentors with determined high school students from low-income families who want to go to college. “It’s heartwarming to see young people blossom and to know that you’ve helped them to open doors for themselves,” he says.
Ten students graduated from Minds Matter Seattle this school year. “We’ve got kids headed off to Yale, Stanford, the UW Honors and UW Computer Science programs, plus two students entering Lehigh University – all with full or nearly-full scholarships.
“These kids have been a pleasure to work with. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!”
As for the younger crowd, Companis Worker Lee Campbell has been reading to children between the ages of three and five since 2009. With COVID still circulating, Lee has been reading out loud on the playground at University District Children’s Center during COVID, sometimes in the rain under a golf umbrella. “The children who want to hear me read gather around,” she says. “Sometimes I have six to eight young ones, but even if I have only one, that’s fine.”
She’s been given many names during her tenure. “I’m Lee, Teacher Lee, Grandma Lee, and sometimes even Mama,” she says. “They take turns sitting on my lap,” she says. “I have kids leaning on my shoulders and sitting on the arms of my camping chair. It’s not totally comfortable for my body, but it’s great for my spirit!”