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April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month! On behalf of APIE, the classrooms we assist, and the students we serve, thank you for all that you do. Read below for an insider’s perspective about the life of a volunteer, information about one of our cherished donors, and to see this year’s APIE Champions!

Quick Bites of APIE |A Few Words About Volunteering

“Here’s to all volunteers – those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay.” – Robert Orben
“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington
“Volunteering is doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.” – Ivan Scheier

Volunteer Spotlight | Allie Kane

Allie Kane is one of our incredible Math Classroom Coaches. Along with tutoring with APIE, Allie is a senior at UT Austin, where she studies Biochemistry and is very involved on campus. Allie shares her experience as a volunteer in the interview below!


Math Classroom Coach and UT Senior, Allie Kane

What inspired you to be a volunteer?  

I love teaching. I’m a mentor for incoming freshmen for an organization called FIG, a First Year Interest Group, for science majors at UT Austin. It’s a group of about 25 students where I give some tips and tricks about becoming a college student. It’s a great way to set them up with connections and gives them resources fresh into college. I enjoy being their cheerleader.

Along with my work with FIG students, I’m a teaching assistant for a research lab. I love science, so I love the teaching aspect of Math Classroom Coaching. Students have a combination of different experience levels. I enjoy explaining difficult concepts. Coming up with new ways to explain lessons so that every student can understand is fun for me. The overlap of my interests for STEM and volunteering fit really well with APIE. It’s given me a very much necessary relief from stress from school, too. I walk in and I’m like, this is great, I get to help students learn.

What’s one of your favorite stories about the kids you work with and a specific coaching experience?

Recently we had extra time at the end of class and the students chose to work on problems they didn’t have to work on. The students are willing to learn. They wanted to do more than what the teacher was asking. It made me feel useful!

What challenges have you been met with?

In the first three weeks, the students were still getting used to me. I was finding out who was strong in certain areas and what their learning styles were. For instance, I could have a student who is at the top of her class, and then I could have a couple others who are less confident in their math abilities. My primary challenge is finding a balance and being able to cater to each student’s needs, even if they’re at different levels of understanding from one another.

Sometimes I feel I didn’t explain the material the best way I could, but most of the time the experience is very positive. I’ve also noticed I’m closer to them in age than their teacher. They’ll open up to me about their personal lives or a boy situation, which is great, so I usually save three minutes towards the ends of class to talk with them after we’ve done the math.

Has this experience influenced your interests as you think about a career/community involvement after college?

APIE is a great overlap of my interests. Working with kids and promoting STEM education is something that is important to me. My goal is to become an ER Physician. I hope to take some time in between graduating from college and medical school to work in the community, too.

Why should someone volunteer as a Classroom Coach?

My first reason for becoming a Math Classroom Coach is community outreach. I grew up having a very privileged life, and giving back was a huge value my grandparents instilled in me. Volunteering as a Classroom Coach is a great way to get involved and get to know your community members.

Second, being a Classroom Coach also challenges my math skills. It encourages me to revisit subjects I’ve learned about before, like scatter plots. I really like that.

Lastly, volunteering with APIE is super rewarding. It feels like a breath of fresh air every time I walk out of class. I immediately feel that I’ve made an impact on the kids. It’s super gratifying!

Donor Spotlight | Outdoor Voices

Outdoor voices


Special thanks to Outdoor Voices! The Austin-based fitness retailer generously sponsored APIE’s 2018 Austin Marathon team and provided fantastic race day volunteers at the APIE water stop.

The company describes its unique culture and philosophy as follows:

“At Outdoor Voices, our goal is to inspire more people to be active on a daily basis. We believe the future of athletics is not about being there first, but about showing up most often. By eliminating the pressure to perform, we’re building a community of exercisers who approach activity with ease, humor and delight. We call this Doing Things — and are committed to the highest quality apparel to get you out there.” – Tyler Haney, Founder and CEO

Thank you, Outdoor Voices!

APIE Champion Awards

Awards Final 2018

Top row from left: Condé Nast, Rosalinda Rivera, Dobie Middle School. Bottom row from left: Silicon Labs, Lanier High School.

This year, we took the APIE Awards on the road to honor our APIE Champions right in their own schools and offices! From volunteers to financial support, these individuals and organizations have played a key part in helping us connect the community to the classrooms. This year’s recipients include: Dobie Middle School as APIE Middle School Champion, Condé Nast as Rookie of the Year, Silicon Labs as Business Partner of the Year, Lanier High School as High School Champion, and Rosalinda Rivera as APIE Coordinator of the Year. Thank you, champions!

Join Our Team! | Now Hiring: College Readiness Summer Associates

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Got summer plans? Become an AmeriCorps VISTA with APIE! Each VISTA Summer Associate will provide 20 to 30 hours weekly of academic tutoring to a group of approximately 10 rising 9th grade students. Living allowance and education award included. Click the link to learn more: https://bit.ly/2meFPkL

Donor Luncheon | March 28, 2018

This month, we celebrated our incredible donors at our annual appreciation luncheon. APIE is so grateful for the financial support that helps us serve Austin ISD students.  Pictured below are representatives from Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, IBM, Silicon Labs, Austin ISD, 2018 marathon team members, and individual donors. Thank you!

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