Volunteer Spotlight: Dee Gamble
“A child who comes to school hungry, or without clothes that fit, or anxious and traumatized–or all of the above–is a child who will struggle to stay in school and learn. At Communities In Schools of New Mexico, we aim to meet each student's unique needs for support so that they can stay in school, graduate, and go on to achieve in life.”
–Julia Bergen, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of New Mexico
One of the most inspiring aspects of our work is witnessing the powerful connections made between volunteer tutors and the students they work with. Today, we are shining a spotlight on Communities In Schools volunteer Dee Gamble, who is one of our longest serving volunteers. Originally from North Carolina and with a background in social work, Dee felt drawn to volunteer to support young people when she retired to Santa Fe. She has been tutoring students at Aspen Community Magnet School since 2015, and this work has been very meaningful for her.
"Each of the children that I have tutored, it’s a very special relationship," explains Dee, pictured at left. "The other day, a young lady walked up to me and said, 'I know you!' I couldn’t recognize her at first--and that’s because I worked with her when she was in kindergarten, and now she's in the sixth grade! The fact that a kid remembers me like that means we had a good bond. It's just wonderful."
Emily Morgan, CIS Site Coordinator at Aspen, works closely with Dee to connect her with students, and says that Dee has been an incredible asset as a volunteer.
"We had a family last year who came to our school," says Emily. "The kids had undergone a lot of familial changes and there was a lot of trauma in that family. The oldest had the most trauma, as she had had to take care of her younger siblings. Dee has been working with that kiddo. She’s so respectful and intentional in her work with her, and the leaps and bounds I’ve seen this child grow emotionally, socially, academically--it's been incredible. This kiddo just feels so loved, seen, and respected."
"If I can build a relationship with a child, and they feel safe with me, I think that’s the best thing we can do as volunteers," Dee says. "You hear from adults all the time, 'I had this teacher…' When a child has a caring adult who believes in them and believes they can make progress in their life, that’s so important."
"Dee is in a league of her own!" says Emily.
Thank you, Dee, for making such a difference in so many young people's lives.
Thank you for considering a gift to support this work. ❤️