She loved the library more than any place else, but no one had ever taught her the importance of returning her books on time. When Holly, a mentor at AK Child & Family offered to bring her to the library to check out some books, Allie admitted she owed a late fee of over $160.
At age 16, Allie needed to work on being more responsible. Holly asked to speak to a library manager, who agreed that Allie could pay off her fees by volunteering.
This arrangement was a dream come true for the teen who secretly hoped to become a librarian when she grew up. Volunteering would be the perfect way to get free on-the-job training and have something to put on her resume. She worked hard in the evenings shelving books and entering data, until finally her fees were paid off.
When she had paid back her fines, the manager at the library told Allie she’d done a wonderful job, and that they were going to miss having her around. Allie was so proud. In this short time, she had learned about personal responsibility, consequences, and what it takes to be a librarian. She was also reading again, which made her joyful and hopeful about all the possibilities the world holds.
Holly and Allie’s story reminds us that mentors and volunteers can change lives. Visit www.bethechange907.org to find local volunteer opportunities. Be the reason a kid realizes her dreams.