By: Lauren Kearns//
Tell me a bit about yourself!
Luna grew up in Darien, IL, where she graduated from Hinsdale Central High School. She is an incoming freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she intends to minor in Business and major in the STEM field. She has plans on joining their D1 Rowing Team, pursuing research, and bringing new ideas to Madison's community service efforts.
What experience did you have with volunteering prior to FORA?
Prior to her time at FORA, she volunteered at the Brookfield Zoo where she committed herself to animal conservation research and customer service. Furthermore, as a full-time swimmer and water polo player throughout high school, she developed a great passion for teamwork and leadership.
How did you learn about FORA and what made you commit to it? Why does refugee education matter to you?
On a late August day, while watching NBC 5, she learned about the Afghani refugee crisis, and that was when FORA was highlighted on the news. FORA had been interviewed about its efforts to bring in new refugees to provide them with free tutoring, and they were seeking new volunteer tutors. With so much time on her hands, she decided to apply.
Her reasons being simple: her parents are immigrants from Syria, and in honor of their sacrifices to raise her and her brother in America where, where they could obtain an enriched education, she thought it was only right to give back, thanks to her parents' efforts.
If you have been tutoring for a while, what has been a highlight of your FORA experience, or a favorite memory with your student?
Luna started off as an online tutor. While working with her first kid in Milwaukee, her passion for education and children sparked. Both were pursuits she had not considered prior to her experience at FORA. Her student's growth, humor, and child-like spirit opened her mind to the value academia has in others' lives as well as her own.
If you’ve been tutoring for a while, what changes have you seen happen by volunteering with FORA? Why are these changes important to you?
After a couple of months of online tutoring, Luna was offered the opportunity to become FORA's Senior Educational Intern. In this position, she tutored each day while pairing online students to tutors. Soon after, she dedicated more of her time at FORA by coming in person, attending staff meets, conducting online tutor sessions, and tutoring online/in-person. Throughout her evolution as a volunteer, tutor, and intern, she got to witness FORA's evolution as a workspace. Their efforts to expand their space, increase their volunteer contribution, and up their employment rate all speak to FORA's rapid growth and efficiency as non-profit organization- factors that keep Luna drawn to FORA.
What brings you joy in life / what do you like to do in your free time?
Beside the time she spends with coworkers and students at FORA, Luna relishes in her side hustles as a yoga sculpt instructor and barista. She cultivates her creativity through journaling, reading, and dissecting Oprah Winfrey podcasts.