Of the many ways to get involved with New Haven Reads, Stephane Girard personally participates in a good number of them. He volunteered as a reading tutor from 2015 to 2018 , and last year he joined the Spelling Bee committee. Thinking on his experience as a tutor, he said, “[The students’] motivation and personality make spending the hour with them a pleasure.”
He fondly remembered a moment when the word “entrepreneur” arose in his conversation with one student, and the questions that followed about what an entrepreneur does sustained a months long conversation that they revisited each week in their tutoring session. The student’s curiosity and drive to learn made Stephane think of his own experience as a non-native English speaker. When he was suddenly thrown into a predominantly English-speaking community, many people helped him to read in the new language so that he could do well for himself.
“With the ability to read comes a power of independence.”
His experience as a tutor led Stephane to join the ranks of NHR’s regular monthly donors, who help the organization expand and provide services to an ever-increasing number of students. In his charitable giving, Stephane seeks to promote information and education. He said that with New Haven Reads he knows his money is well invested, precisely because he has seen all the good that we actually accomplish in the lives of our students. These results help them on their way to becoming productive and independent members of society. “It’s not only a good cause, but a cause that has the means to achieve what it’s after,” he explained. “I’ve experienced it firsthand.”