Introducing the WSECU & KIRO Radio Hometown Hero: Annie Poyner
SPONSORED– Annie Poyner is a dedicated volunteer, committed to helping youth in our communities achieve academic success and leadership skills. Poyner gives back to the community in both her career and volunteer work.
In her career, she is the force behind the widely successful free tutoring program, Study Zone. As a volunteer, her service to the community can be seen in many ways, from her son’s elementary school, to her dedication to Cub Scouts. Poyner carefully juggles her time to maximize her impact at home, at work and while volunteering.
“Find something that matters to you, something meaningful, and let that direct you to work and volunteer efforts that motivate you to keep going. When you see the difference you’re making, you want to continue and do more. If I know that I [can] support someone directly, I can’t turn away from that. I just do what I can to pitch in,” Poyner said.
Volunteering in your community has benefits for you and for those you are serving. Poyner explains that she is inspired by other parents who volunteer and seeing the tangible benefits of her efforts with kids in Cub Scouts keeps her going. Helping build self-esteem, teamwork and compassion amongst the youth she serves makes her extra effort worth it.
While it may be tempting to over-commit, Poyner offers this advice when it comes to giving back and volunteering in your community, “It takes some discipline to put the brakes on and not volunteer for everything. It doesn’t do anyone any good if you over extend yourself and get burned out or start cutting into valuable time with your family. Do what you can and redirect to other resources that are available when you can’t.”
The Study Zone is a homework-assistance program for elementary through high school students, and anyone up to age 21 studying for their GED. The program is offered as a free drop-in service to students at KCLS libraries. Students can study, do homework, and get help with their questions from volunteer tutors. Each tutor works with 1-5 students in a group setting.