The President's Public Service Fellowship Blog

Psychology Major Shares Love of Reading with New Haven Community

Dominique Pendleton ’20, who is working with New Haven Reads as part of the University’s President’s Public Service Fellowship, has uncovered a passion for working with kids.

August 1, 2019

By Dominique Pendleton ’20

Image of Dominique Pendleton ’20
Dominique Pendleton ’20 is working with New Haven Reads this summer.

My experience with New Haven Reads, a nonprofit organization focused on the education of young people, as well as the distribution of books throughout the community, has been amazing, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

This is my first real experience with a nonprofit organization, and I am learning how it operates. I have been able to witness firsthand how much work the entire team puts into making this organization a success. There is so much involvement from a dedicated administrative staff, volunteers, interns, and the community.

Working so closely with the community has given me a new perspective when it comes to volunteering and its importance. I could never have imagined how impactful the work would be, and how grateful the community is for these organizations.

"This work gives me the opportunity to see the power of reading and how important education is to a community."Dominique Pendleton ’20

Working with kids is not something that I considered for my future – until I began this fellowship. Being able to tutor kids in grades 1-12 has been great. This work gives me the opportunity to see the power of reading and how important education is to a community.

New Haven Reads is also a neighborhood book bank that is open to the public six days a week. This means that donations are dropped off, and anybody is welcome to walk through the doors and take as many books as they would like for free. This concept is unknown to many people, and they are usually in shock when they find out that all of the books are free. The book bank also does book orders, and teachers can request a box of books of a certain genre for their classrooms.

Watching New Haven Reads strive to educate young kids and reach the community through reading has been an inspiring experience.

The President's Public Service Fellowship places University of New Haven students in a nonprofit or public service work environment for eleven weeks during the summer.