Name: Brenna Humphries
City/State: Marietta, GA
Name of Program: Kids Read Inc.
Tell us about Yourself ! (What do you do?) :
As a junior in high school I founded Kids Read Inc. I saw a need in my community and decided to do something about it. Today Kids Read Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting literacy and learning among inner city youth. We provide books and educational programs that will spark a passion for reading and an excitement for learning within children. Since 2007 Kids Read has donated over 4,000 books to children in low income areas across the United States and abroad.
What inspired you to get started?:
In high school and college, I participated in various community service projects and initiatives. While volunteering at Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital in Atlanta, I noticed that many of the children with chronic illnesses spent their time playing video games or watching TV. Some of the children failed behind in their classes because they did not have any age appropriate academic stimulation.
After having a conversation with a few of my loved ones, I decided to do something about this. Giving these children books or spending time reading with them could help to keep their reading skills sharp while they were sick. I conducted my first book drive a few months later and raised a couple hundred books and workbooks to donate to Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital. Since then, I have expanded to donating books to not only hospitals, but any institution or organization that
Who/What helped prepare you to start?:
I think that it is extremely important to have consistent mentors who can help you strategize ways to accomplish your personal and business goals. I found a mentor who already founded several non profit organizations and asked her to coach me through the process of starting Kids Read Inc. I asked her as many questions as I could and learned so much from her. I still meet with her on a regular basis.
Who/what has been most influential in supporting you?:
My parents and close friends were instrumental in pushing me to start Kids Read. I've always had a desire to give back to my community but I didn't know where to begin. My parents encouraged me to explore my passions and figure out where I fit. My friends supported me in the process of putting my ideas in actions - they volunteered, led book drives and managed fundraisers.
How can others get involved if they're interested?
We always can use volunteers, new or gently used books, and monetary donations. Visit www.kids-read.org for more information.
If you had one word of advice for other women wanting to make an impact what would it be?
Don't ask for permission to be great. Unapologetically impact the world with your presence, passion and purpose. As Howard Thurman once stated, "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."