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Partners in Education Volunteer Spotlight: Micah Kiliman
Micah Kiliman has been a volunteer with Santa Barbara Partners in Education for only a few months, but the recent UC Santa Barbara graduate already has made an impact on students that will last a lifetime.
Like many new graduates, Kiliman found a highly competitive job market to contend with. In between submitting résumés and juggling interviews, she decided to browse the volunteer opportunities on Craigslist. There she came across an advertisement from Partners in Education, a nonprofit organization run under the Santa Barbara County Education Office umbrella. The post described a need for a tutor to help journalism students at Santa Barbara High School.
“When I saw the advertisement on Craigslist, I thought ‘PERFECT’,” Kiliman said. “I knew this volunteer opportunity with Partners in Education would allow me to have a direct impact on students’ high school experience.”
Kiliman contacted Partners in Education and, after discussing opportunities with a Partners volunteer manager, she realized that her skills and interests were a great fit for a journalism class in need of some help.
“(Currently) I’m an adviser for an undergraduate quarterly magazine called WORD: Isla Vista Arts & Culture,” she said. “I use my two years of experience as staff on the magazine to help the current staff run smoothly. I also teach InDesign and other computer programs to students.”
While Kiliman was going through the fingerprinting and Live Scan process each ongoing volunteer must complete, Partners contacted Stephanie Rivera, the journalism teacher at Santa Barbara High. Rivera was thrilled that such an experienced person was interested in helping her students and agreed that she should begin as soon as possible.
A few weeks later Rivera had only wonderful things to say about her new volunteer.
“I can say, (that) with the addition of Micah to our team, our last issue of The Forge (the student newspaper) was stellar ... because Micah helped instill a streamlined system of editing and has been mentoring the layout editors on how to use the computer program more efficiently,” Rivera raved.
Kiliman was enjoying her time with the students, too.
“(I enjoy) witnessing how bright they are!” she exclaimed. “It’s so rewarding to see them take something I teach them and run with it!”
Kiliman is not afraid to use creative tactics to get the job done.
“Distribution day for issue three was approaching and I thought the students should do something a little out-of-the-ordinary to spice up their distribution routine,” she said. “So, I suggested one of them wear a banana suit while passing out copies. I was happy to see my silly idea accepted with such enthusiasm, and it was pretty cool to have a banana in the classroom.”
• • •
Santa Barbara Partners in Education in a nonprofit 501(c)3 administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Partners programs include a Volunteer Recruitment program serving K-12 public schools and nonprofit organizations; a Paid Job Readiness Training & Internship program for deserving high school students; and Computers for Families, a program working to close the digital divide.
» Click here to volunteer with Partners in Education, or call 805.964.4710 x4401.
» Connect with Partners in Education on Facebook.
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