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Volunteer Spotlight

Kourtnei Gartman

Kourtnei came to us as an intern in mid-August, 2017, and started just days before Hurricane Harvey. She connected with us through a fantastic program, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at the University of Houston. She expected to provide administrative support for classes and gain experience in public speaking, but no one could have predicted the work that needed to be done in the wake of the worst disaster in Houston’s history.

Kourtnei took community outreach to a new level by helping us to check on students and volunteers, connect them with critical services, and eventually re-establish adult literacy classes. She lent her endless sense of fun to community events, too, including representing us at the Energy Corridor Cigna Sunday Streets, and by doing a stellar job organizing our 9th annual Around the World celebration.

When her internship commitment was complete, we were delighted to learn that Kourtnei wanted to regularly volunteer! You can find her providing seamless front desk coverage and support for students and volunteers on Wednesday afternoons, when staff is often in planning meetings.

Why did you decide to volunteer after your internship?

Kourtnei at Sunday Streets in December 2017...
...and proving it was really her under that bunny head!

I wanted to do something outside of the classroom, and I really liked the culture. It’s so welcoming, and you can see people grow.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering at the front desk?

At the front desk, you can be part of the welcoming feeling and sense of community here. You get an idea of just how many people are helped, and the sustainability of it all.

What inspires you?

It’s amazing to see the progress students make; to hear when they are able to speak to their kids’ teachers, or to make progress with other life goals.

What would you say to other people who are considering volunteering?

It’s fulfilling! When you give your time away, you find purpose.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?

That’s easy! I would be an Empath. Mantis is a minor character in the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie. You should see them!

Thank you, Kourtnei!


Don't forget our previous spotlights!

Find the 2018 archive here.

Find the 2017 archive here.

Find the 2016 archive here.

Find the 2015 archive here.

Find the 2014 archive here.

Find the 2013 archive here.

Find the 2012 archive here.

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