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Literacy Drive

Organized by the Step Up Ventura intern, Jennifer, we recently held a literacy drive to provide each of our children and their siblings with an age-appropriate book.

We spoke with Jennifer about the successful drive and her time working with Step Up Ventura.


What an amazing year this has been! When I first began my field practicum with Step Up Ventura, I really had no idea what to expect, especially given the fact that we were in a global pandemic. I am happy to report that this experience has been so much more fulfilling and personally and professionally rewarding for me than I could have ever hoped.

The literacy project was another opportunity to see firsthand how willing our community is to help out those in need. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I received on

this project, and am grateful to everyone who helped me make it so successful. I also realized how important it is to promote reading to children. I have seen how much the preschoolers love being read to, and it would be great to see this love of books carry on as they grow older. As we provided books for each student and all of their siblings, I’m hopeful that the older kids enjoyed receiving their book as much as their younger brothers and sisters.

As I prepare to graduate and my time with Step Up nears its end, I feel that I have learned so much about myself and more so, the experience has confirmed why I decided to pursue my degree in social work. I love the fact that as a social worker, I will have the ability to work with so many people that are committed to helping others and doing what they can to make their community a better place.

It’s rare to find an organization like Step Up Ventura, and I will always be grateful for having this opportunity to work with these children and their families. My first venture into social work has been nothing but positive, and Mary Kerrigan, the SUV Program Director, is amazing. She has become a great mentor for me.

As far as next steps – I’m really not sure! There are so many areas of social work that interest me, but I do feel I will likely end up working with children as I believe this is where I can be the most helpful. I would love to have a career that helps children feel safe, heard, and understood. Basically a lot of what I have learned with SUV!

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