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Justin Allard

We are so excited to honor Justin in this month’s Volunteer Spotlight—and, it just so happens to be Justin’s birthday today!

Justin has been a volunteer from the very first day—bringing creativity, a love of fantastical creatures, and interesting questions into the classroom. Justin is able to channel our students’ energy into productivity—they encourage students to explore the most whimsical parts of imagination and validate the silliest thoughts to the most serious. Justin is a poet with an eye and ear for detail and finds the tiniest, hidden gems within a student’s work and calls attention to them. Plus, Justin is always willing to write alongside students and share—a delight for everyone!

At the end of the day, you can overhear Justin saying, “I’m so proud of how hard you worked today.” It’s no surprise that if they aren’t in the room, all the students are asking, “Where is Justin today!?”

What a joy it is to have this sparkly, smart, & stylish volunteer on our team! Happy birthday, Justin!

 

 
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Dylon Jones

 

We are delighted to honor Dylon in this month’s Volunteer Spotlight! When we first started recruiting volunteers, Dylon was one of the first people we reached out to. He is a journalist at Louisville Magazine and a brilliant poet—Dylon’s energy for writing radiates joyfully through all conversations. Dylon brings this warmth and joy into the classroom—motivating the most reluctant writers to put pencils to paper and to be thoughtful about word choice.

Dylon instantly lit up when we mentioned we were planning a journalism workshop in collaboration with GonzoFest, a local literary and music festival. We met with Dylon and he helped us develop a lesson plan that gave our students the rundown of journalism. Dylon led the workshop beautifully. He created an inclusive space and encouraged students to use their own unique voices to tell new stories.  Dylon’s skills and ideas are gold—we are so grateful to have him on our volunteer team!

 
 

Livy Broussard

We are so excited to honor Livy Broussard in our very first Volunteer Spotlight. Livy doesn't exactly need a spotlight, because she is her own brilliant ray of sunshine—radiating kindness and warmth! 

Livy began volunteering with Young Authors Greenhouse once a week—but before we knew it, she was coming all three days and helping at every volunteer event outside of the YABP. Livy is studying Social Work at U of L—her strength in this area is sparkling clear. Livy's empathetic listening helps our students feel heard. She cultivates a brave space for our students, a place where they feel safe to talk about things that are “uncomfy”—a word that Livy has introduced to our vocabulary. Livy's energy emanates in the classroom and she is able to help the most reluctant students find their creative spark! Livy, in your own words, you make our hearts squishy! We could go on, but we'll turn it over to Damari, one of the students at Livy's table:

Dear Livy,

I'm Damari and I'm eleven years old. I am writing to you because I wanted to say thank you for helping me realize that I love to write. You're sweet as candy and that helped me.

Writing actually got my mind to work, when you helped me. I really want to know if I'm going to have a future because of you. I really want to know more about you.

You're funny as a monkey. You're sweet as smarties. You're kind as an angel. You're really magical like a fairy. I hope you enjoyed your letter.

                                             Love, Damari

PS, Tell Justin the same things from this letter.