First Niagara Foundation Intern Blog Post: Jade

Jade head shotName: Jade Thomas

Hometown: Hamden, Connecticut

College and Major: University of Connecticut, Political Science

Tutoring Site: Bristol Street

Clubs: math and chess club

Favorite Childhood Book: The Diary of Anne Frank


I have had a chance to collaborate with many amazing people and organizations during my time at the University of Connecticut. But without a doubt New Haven Reads is in a league of its own. The staff and tutors here are truly remarkable. I am consistently impressed by the amount of attention that is given to the needs of each child. They have successfully fostered an environment of inquiry and growth for both staff and students. Hugs are commonplace, as are smiles. Although, I will only be working here for the summer I am welcomed and embraced with a level of warmth that an employee could normally only wish for. It feels phenomenal to work at a place like New Haven Reads because of their contributions to the New Haven community, both future and present.

Tutoring hours are always lively, although we do work there is still time for fun and laughs. I also lead the summer math and chess club at New Haven Read’s Bristol Street location. Already, I have memories and laughs that will last a lifetime. One of the students I work with has shown a real interest in drawing, and he’s pretty good too! We were able to connect and begin building a rapport through this shared interest. One day when my student was not particularly keen on reading I let him draw while I narrated the story. After a couple of pages he was asking questions and engaging.

Each time I interact with one of the kids I feel that I am not only helping them to reach their goals but they are helping me to gain valuable interpersonal skills and to learn more about myself. I want to thank the First Niagara Foundation, because of their contributions I am able to have such a fulfilling summer experience. I’m dreading my last day because my coworkers and my students are some of the sweetest people I have met. I am so grateful to have been able to work here at New Haven Reads.


Thank you to the First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank for generously funding six college-age interns at New Haven Reads this summer.

Categories First Niagara Summer Internship, News & Events | Tags: , , | Posted on July 31, 2017

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