Volunteering is important because it can fill a void in a child’s life. And when that void is filled, they can be successful.
-Wyvonnia Lynell Brooks
Madison, Tennessee native Wyvonnia Lynell Brooks is a life-long learner who knows the importance of having a good education. She has dedicated a large portion of her life to the pursuit of knowledge, accumulating six degrees along the way. As a volunteer with FiftyForward Foster Grandparent Program, she serves at Rocketship Northeast School, where she imparts her love of learning to elementary school students who are falling behind.
“My church member kept talking about Foster Grandparents and helping the children,” says Wyvonnia. “My friend encouraged me to join and said I would be fantastic. As soon as I started, I just fell in love. The kids pull at my heartstrings. I had a boy who would get so frustrated and would tell me he couldn’t do anything. I learned that he loved music and we practiced reading using rap music. Now he is a wonderful reader. He told me that I was the reason he came to school.”
FiftyForward is a non-profit agency that serves, supports and engages older adults. Wyvonnia is a part of the FiftyForward Foster Grandparent Program, a national organization that enables seniors to bring their wisdom, love and encouragement to students. FiftyForward Foster Grandparents help children understand they are teachable, and that they can be anything they want to be. They let children know everyone learns differently, and while it might seem more difficult for some, with the right guidance they can learn.
Volunteering is important to Wyvonnia because she sees it as a direct way to fill a void in a child’s life. “Some of the children don’t have grandparents in their lives. Grandparents are the foundation of the family and I can be that foundation. I can be the shoulder they cry on and the ear that listens to them. And when that void is filled, they can be successful.”
When Wyvonnia isn’t volunteering, she likes to sing, read, watch movies and listen to music. She also loves to get dressed up and go out dancing.
This will be Wyvonnia’s firstCabot Community Celebrity Cruise, and she will be accompanied by her friend Dera Rena Dowell.