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Rachel Jaffe

Rachel JaffeAs a senior in college in search of a viable career path, Rachel Jaffe (’16) knew she wanted to make a difference in the education field. Conveniently, Jaffe volunteered with Reading Partners at Memminger Elementary School in Charleston, SC and was passionate about her work there and the impact it had on students. Through her volunteer work, Jaffe got to know Memminger’s site coordinator and expressed her interest in pursuing an AmeriCorps position. In August, Jaffe began her career as an AmeriCorps Site Coordinator with Memminger.

Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree and jumping into the environment of Reading Partners, Jaffe realized how much her communication major affects her everyday work.

“First and foremost, I have an understanding of communication barriers. This has been incredibly helpful, especially while I’m coaching tutors to adhere to the Reading Partners curriculum,” says Jaffe.

At Reading Partners there is no such thing as a “typical” day. Jaffe works with 62 students and helps to lead a group of around 90 volunteers. Each day, there are five 45-minute sessions during which community volunteers come to the school and read with students one-on-one. Jaffe’s job duties include: greeting the tutors and making sure they understand and are adhering to the Reading Partners curriculum; getting the students from class; running the sessions for volunteers; testing students; and tracking progress through data entry.

While accomplishing daily tasks at Reading Partners may be challenging, Jaffe was well-prepared through her College of Charleston education. She completed her degree this past summer through a summer study abroad program in India, Spain, and Morocco, which allowed her to gain a new perspective regarding different cultures.

In the fall of 2016, Jaffe was invited to present her COMM410 TV criticism paper, Normalization of Homosexuality in HBO’s The Wire, at the 2016 Carolinas Communication Association Conference. With the help of Dr. Celeste Lacroix, Jaffe won the Mary E. Jarrard Prize, which is awarded annually to the outstanding undergraduate and graduate student paper submitted to the convention.

With her communication degree as a springboard, Jaffe has excelled in her post-graduation experiences and plans to continue to take advantage of the opportunities that come her way.

Rachel was in the Honors College at the College of Charleston and she majored in communication and minored in business administration.

Read more about Rachel’s Reading Partners experience here