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DC Reads Team Leaders

German Figueroa
Height Elementary

College of Arts and Science

My name is German Figueroa; I am studying psychology in the College of Arts and Science. I have been a part of DC Reads my entire college career, one year as a Tutor for CentraNia and the rest as a Team Leader of Reading Partners at Dorothy Heights Elementary. Been a Tutor was an amazing experience at CentaNia, I tough Jefferson the kid I was tutoring to find joy in books and see his life as a story. But, as Team Leader it is a powerful feeling when seeing your Tutors and kids bond and empowers each other.

Ariqa Herrera
Senior International Service

RP HD Cooke

Why I love DC Reads/TL: This is my third year being a Team Leader with DC Reads and one of the reasons that I keep coming back is I really love to see a difference in the students I work with. It's really incredible to be part of making a difference in my community. I enjoy being a team leader because I like sharing that feeling with the many freshman that are involved with the program and even the older tutors that have been in DC longer. DC is one of my favorite cities and it's fun helping students get out of the Tenleytown bubble and make a difference in the city.

Jason Breeding
Sophomore Majoring in SIS and Minoring in Sustainability


I love DC Reads so much, and I'm so thankful that I was able to get involved. Not only does it allow me to get out into the city and see more of the local community, it is an incredibly fun, rewarding program. As a Team Leader, I meet so many wonderful, dedicated people in and outside of American University. As a tutor, I get to work with some of the best kids in the world, and make a difference in their lives while I do it.

Claire Ison
Sophomore Public Relations Major, Sociology Minor

Reading Partners - Height Elementary

To be honest, when I began DC Reads in my freshman year, it was mostly to use my federal work study award. However, as I worked with the program, I began to fall in love with it. To work one-on-one with a kid and see their progress throughout the year is really incredible. In DC Reads, we use a quote by Nelson Mandela - "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." This quote does a great job of summarizing why I love DC Reads. Change starts with the youngest generation. If we want a positive future, we need to give the children of today the tools they need to make a difference.

Diana Sanchez
Sophomore in the School of International Service

LAYC at Powell

What I love most about Powell is the energy you get when you walk through the door. The kids are so enthusiastic that we are there. At LAYC, we are tutors but also role models. The kids really look up to the tutors and I think that when they see college students they become fascinated with the idea of college and makes them want to go to college. I think it's important for the kids to see college students because they become curious about college. So having us there gives them a different perspective with regards to the world.

Emily Murtaugh
Anthropology with minors in Statistics and International Relations

Reading Partners - Seaton Elementary School

Why I love DC Reads: I love DC Reads because I have the privilege of watching my students become confident in their ability to  read and it is the most fulfilling experience, watching students find their voice and interests.

Jessica McHale
Sophomore; International Relations and Economics

Higher Achievement Ward 4

I love D.C. Reads not only because I love working with kids but also because my participation in D.C. Reads is one of the best ways I can help create the change I wish to see in the world.

Samantha Robinson
Psychology major and Public Health/ Education double minor, Sophmore


I love DC Reads because I think education is really important and I love getting to help children learn and feel confident in their skills.