• “They’ve inspired me. They’ve told me to ‘keep on going, you can do this.’”
  • “Wise Readers to Leaders gives you the freedom to be who you are. Freedom from everything bad in your life. Freedom to just be free.”
  • “I like Wise Readers to Leaders because we learn a lot of things like we read, write and we do lots of activities. It is special to me because we do lots of things that inspire you, like they tell you to follow your dreams.”
  • “The Literacy Leaders, Junior Literacy Leaders, the Site Coordinator, and others have encouraged me to be myself. I really enjoy Wise Readers to Leaders as a whole, how they inspire kids to read, and encourage other kids to be happy, and to jump up and down, doing cheers and chants.”
  • “Wise Readers to Leaders allows you to feel free around good people. You feel safe to do stuff and just have a chance to tell people who you are without being shy. Once you get to know people, the less stuff you have to worry about. If you tell a Literacy Leader or Junior Literacy Leader something, they will help you with the problem. Readers to Leaders is like a diary or journal that you can keep secrets with.”


  • “My favorite thing about [Wise Readers to Leaders] is the excitement that I see on my kids’ faces. Their enthusiasm about learning.”
  • “That’s what I notice, that every time they go to [Wise Readers to Leaders], is that there is no word “no,” that I cannot do it. Yes I can.”


  • “This summer was my first year being a JLL and in short, it was one of the most life changing and rewarding experiences in my lifetime. It is difficult to convey how much this program made me grow as a person, and the deep and everlasting impacts that these scholars made on me is truly so awe-inspiring. There has not been a day that has gone by when I have not been thinking about these connections I have made and memories of the scholar’s smiles and recollections of their faces “lighting up” when they were able to sound out a new word, floods my head during a great deal of the days…This program has made not only such an impact on me, but the community around [me].”
  • “I [have been] involved in many different community service organizations for as long as I can remember but Wise Readers, tops them all! Many of my contemporaries and peers attended service trips to places such as Fiji and Costa Rica. However, volunteering and helping the community right in my backyard is so much more meaningful. Additionally, I am involved in many different Jewish organizations, but being a JLL seemed to be the greatest act of tikkun olam!”


  • “[My children] look exhausted and inspired at the end of each day.  No doubt, they appreciate the responsibility and the privilege they have been given. They care about doing a good job for the kids. This program is a very rare opportunity for them to translate the concept of Tikkun Olam into direct action with one consistent group of children, for an extended length of time, in their own Los Angeles community, where they (JLL’s and Scholars) will very likely be coexisting as adults in the not so distant future.”
  • “Lilly is a changed person because of this program. The trajectory of her life will forever be affected because of this program. I truly believe it is the single most important thing she has participated in during her school career.”
  • “From the smiles you put on their faces, to the knowledge they soak up, and to the determination of endless hard work everyone has put in to making all dreams possible, we have you guys to thank.”


  • “My experience working at Readers to Leaders has been extremely influential in my decision to apply to law school.  I learned a great deal during our staff trainings about the extremely complex issues with the education system.  While programs like ours make such a huge impact for the scholars we are able to serve, I realized that these issues are deeply rooted and changes need to be made at all levels. My experience has lead me to want to pursue child advocacy law and potentially work on education policy.  I will be interning with the Alliance for Children’s Rights this fall and will hopefully be able to continue to learn about the issues surrounding education. It was amazing to see Readers to Leaders become an independent program this summer and I feel so lucky to have been able to build relationships with the amazing scholars in our program.”