Laura Pietro – Albemarle County Resident

Tell us about your volunteer activities.
When my family first moved to Charlottesville from New York in 1993, we volunteered at Holy Comforter’s Thursday noon soup kitchen for several years.  From 2006 – 2010, I was involved in many volunteer roles with a start-up  high school rowing program at Western Albemarle High School.  This was the  first high school rowing team in Central Virginia that has now been State Champions several times and helped multiple student athletes attain college scholarships.  I took some time off from volunteering and, when I was ready to reengage this year, joined Literacy Volunteers. It has been delightful! I have been paired with an amazing student. We meet once a week for a two hour session.  My student tries so hard and I am so impressed.  The challenges that she faces makes me appreciate everything I have so much more. We’ve committed to each other for at least one year. Literacy Volunteers is located in the beautifully renovated Jefferson School.  I hope her English is getting better – I know my Spanish is!  We laugh a lot, learn a lot, and have gotten very proficient with our translator app on our IPhones.

What inspires you to volunteer?
I am so blessed and fortunate in my personal life that I feel inspired to do something, however modest, in return. I am a sincere believer in every day acts of kindness.  I am deeply troubled by the extreme and blatant hate we are exposed to every day, especially in this election year. Charlottesville is filled with good and kind people and volunteering facilitates those connections.

If your volunteer work could make one long-lasting change, what would you want it to be?
I hope that my wonderful student will be able to improve her speaking and reading skills to the extent that it truly is a life changer for her and her family.  Contributing to that would mean everything.

What is a little-known fact about you?
My nickname is Scoop. It’s the only name my husband of 33 years has ever called me.