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Twin Cities RISE!

Summer 2012

Volunteer Newsletter Volunteer Spotlight: Sumito Soichi


TCR!: Why did you decide to volunteer with TCR!? Sumito: I had been interested in the nonprofit sector and had wanted to work there for a long time. When I got accepted to study abroad at the University of Minnesota, I talked about nonprofit organizations with two professors in my Japanese university who study them and they each gave me three videos. Only one video was the same, and that was a TV program that featured TCR! some years ago. At that moment, I thought I wanted to work in this organization. TCR!: What did you enjoy most during your time at TCR!? Sumito: I enjoyed all of my time at TCR!. However, the moment I enjoyed the most was communicating with participants in classes. When I interacted with them, I could feel that I contributed to TCR!’s mission the most and also could feel the meaning of my existence in this organization. TCR!: What are you going to miss about TCR!? Sumito: I am going to miss the people at Twin Cities RISE!, both participants and staff. I would like to see what the participant, who I interacted with in the class, is going to be in the future. Besides that, I was helped a lot by kind staff during my work at TCR!. It would have been difficult for me to work as a volunteer for a long period if they did not help me like that. I appreciated them, and I will miss them. TCR: What did you learn from TCR!? Is there anything you are going to bring back to Japan? Sumito: The most valuable thing I learned from TCR! was that they convert social impact into economic value, regard grants and donation as an “investment” from society, and they report it to their stakeholders

Photo by Shelley Jacobson

rom January until May 2012, Japanese exchange student at the University of Minnesota Sumito Soichi learned the ins and outs of Twin Cities RISE!. Not only did he help in the computer labs and math class, but he helped our registrar with a long-term shredding project and at The Non Nonprofit book launch event. TCR! wanted to know more about his experience, and he was kind enough to answer.

through annual reporting. The Japanese nonprofit market is still developing. There are only a few nonprofits which run realistically like this. I would like to bring this to the Japanese nonprofit market some way. TCR!: What are your future plans? Sumito: In the long term, I want to do my best to make a strong grassroots foundation in Asia. I will try to make more people think that nonprofits play an important role that supports and develops our future society. As a result of that, it would be nice if people became more involved and felt a stronger tie to their volunteer work and donations. In the short term, I would like to get my MBA in the US. Through my experiences in the US, I realize we can use skills, knowledge and experiences of for-profit effectively in nonprofit sector. In addition to that, the impact that is generated when business skills are used for nonprofit is substantial. I realized I should understand how the for-profit world works first to generate a huge impact on the nonprofit sector. TCR!: What would you tell others who may be interested in volunteering with TCR! to encourage them to get involved/reconnect? Sumito: I believe that TCR! is one of the best places to volunteer. All the staff are kind and have different backgrounds. Under that situation, I have been stimulated to work and study harder. Also, I tried to study more when I saw participants studying hard in front of the desk at TCR!. From the bottom of my heart, I recommend this nonprofit to volunteers.

Write the next Volunteer Spotlight by sharing your own TCR! experience with us. Please contact to get more details.

Celebration and Volunteer Recognition on May 24 On Thursday, May 24, we praised the work of our participants and volunteers at Celebration at Hoa Bien Vietnamese Restaurant in St. Paul. We had a record breaking 243 guests, 21 of which were volunteers. Not only were volunteers presented gifts at the door, but a raffle was held later in the event. Donations from: Barbette, Brave New Workshop, Bryant Lake Bowl, Mark Christopherson

(Minnesota Lynx tickets), Haskell’s, History Theater, and Park Square Theater

were presented to: Megan Barr, Fabian Deloach, Terry Doerr, Mick Dyer, Zikomo Fields, Canan Karatekin, and Sharon Lin. Congratulations to our winners, and a big thank you to all of our TCR! volunteers!

Reminders for Mock Interviewers


What to wear to TCR!: • Clothing with a neat, clean appearance • Work uniforms • Pants, slacks, jeans, skirts, or dresses • Polo/golf shirts, blouses, t-shirts, or sweatshirts (without graphics, logos or writing) • Jackets, sweaters, or vests • Dress, casual, dress sandals, tennis or court shoes

ecause our final goal is job placement with a customer company, Twin Cities RISE! maintains a professional environment. It is necessary for all participants, staff members, and volunteers to adhere to a dress code while in a TCR! facility. These policies, and others, are intended to help participants model behaviors that will make them successful when placed with a hiring partner.

Community Partner Award: RBC Wealth Management

What not to wear to TCR!: • Dirty, torn or ragged clothing • Sweatpants or exercise attire • Shorts, capri pants or skirts that are too short (mid-thigh) • Sleeveless shirts or low-cut tops • Hats or other “headgear” • Flip-flops or beach sandals

Free MLC Tutor Trainings The Minnesota Literacy Council (MLC) offers two kinds of comprehensive training for tutoring/teaching adult learners. They are 12 hours total, broken into several sessions. They focus on the principles of teaching adults and specific content areas. The fee is $35, but good news: Twin Cities RISE! will pay for you to attend! For dates and more information, click the links below. Recommended for TCR! Tutors: Reading, Writing, Math and GED Tutor Pre-Service Training, available September-May. (Fall dates have not been scheduled yet.)

This session, we were eager to acknowledge RBC Wealth Management as our Community Partner Award recipient! We have been overwhelmed and delighted by the amazing show of support over the past 3 years by their team of supporters. Because of their time and commitment to TCR!, we honor the support they have shown as advocates for both our program as a hiring partner for 2 of our participants, as financial supporters, classroom and tutoring supporters, and especially as mock interviewers. Particularly, we want to thank Mick Dyer, who has involved 25 volunteers from RBC that have contributed well over 200 hours over the past 3 years. Because he has spearheaded so many wonderful efforts and strengthened our partnership, not to mention the many lives of our participants that have been impacted by his and his colleagues’ work, we want to thank him, as well! Thank you, Mick!

In-Service Workshops that focus on particular teaching skills and topics. They are 2 hours each and are FREE! Their Educational Technology Trainings have a similar format. If you’re interested in an online option, the MLC offers Online Trainings on a variety of topics related to adult education. These range from Teaching Adults with ADHD to Research-based Beginning Reading Instruction for Adults and many more.

Interview TCR! Participants at Your Company! Twin Cities RISE! has an 82% retention rate for students the first year after they’ve been hired! We’re always seeking employers looking for skilled entry-level employees who want to work. Call Andrea Pendleton at 612-279-5835 or email if you can support our efforts to help place participants in full-time jobs. Thank you!

Important Volunteer Dates Volunteer Orientation June 26 at 12:30 pm and 5:00 pm in Minneapolis Mock Interviewing Continues through July 10. Contact Kate at for more info.

Tutoring • End of session tutor meeting during week of July 16. Details to come. • Tutor and in-class assistant in-service during week of July 23. Details to come. August Celebration Thursday, August 2 from 5:45-7:30 pm. Location TBA.

Comments, questions, ideas or corrections? Contact Tiowa Collier at Want to unsubscribe to this newsletter? Email

Twin Cities RISE! Volunteer Newsletter - Summer 2012  

News and updates for TCR! volunteers.

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