Emily was teaching high school English in Honduras when she first realized not all children grow up with access to books or a love for reading. This experience inspired her to found Traveling Stories, a nonprofit that has since opened eight libraries internationally and helped over 10,000 children since its inception in 2010.
“I believe every child has the ability to achieve success, but that many lack the opportunities or support they need to overcome the obstacles in their way,” said Emily. “Being able to read is a basic, foundational skill that every person deserves to have. When you empower someone with literacy skills, you empower them to think and achieve for themselves.”
Traveling Stories currently offers virtual programs in response to Covid-19. The Virtual StoryTent pairs children one-on-one with a reading mentor for weekly reading sessions via video to provide consistent literacy support. For every book read, children earn Book Bucks, which can be redeemed for prizes.
“I love watching children who struggle with reading transform into confident, enthusiastic readers,” said Emily. “There's nothing like watching a child fall in love with reading for the first time and then watching how that love transforms their life.”
Emily, who is based in San Diego, has a degree in Journalism from John Brown University and a certificate in African Studies and Community Development from Uganda Christian University. She is also the author of the bilingual children’s book, “Watch Out for Mr. B.” She enjoys hanging out with her two foster daughters and three cats.Find her on Instagram | LinkedIn