Volunteer Spotlight: Maria

Maria Petosa joined our Monroe County Digital Literacy Team in April 2022 as a volunteer at Frederick Douglas Community Library. She is originally from the Syracuse area but moved to Rochester to attend college. She has completed an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and is working on a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology at Nazareth College. Her future career goal is to work with individuals who have gone through a stroke or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Maria attributes most of her success to her parents, as they have guided and helped her through life in general. One day she hopes to be able to give back to them as much as they have given her.

While in college, Maria went on a service trip to Ethiopia where she worked with deaf children. She assisted the children by creating lesson plans and helping them with their communication skills. This experience changed Maria’s perspective on volunteering. She realized that uniting people from different backgrounds to work toward a common goal strengthens the communities and the world we live in. That experience has made her want to get more involved in her local community, that is when she found Literacy Rochester Digital Literacy Program.

She believes digital literacy is important because it is all about communication. “All of what you do on a computer is some form of communication and it’s tough for those who do have the skills, so you can image how hard it is for those who have not yet developed them” stated Maria. Her favorite thing about being a DL Volunteer is helping and meeting new people. She finds it very inspiring when customers get that moment of sudden inspiration and revelation when they figure something out. She believes her calming nature and patience has given her the ability to be a great volunteer. Her advice to others that would like to volunteer in their community is to be open minded because you will meet people from different backgrounds and experience.

When Maria’s not volunteering or writing her thesis, you can find her snuggled up with a book. One of her favorite books of all times is “The Great Gatsby” because it is a glimpse at our humanity, our enormous capacity to dream, to imagine, to hope, and to persevere. It is one of the most renowned works of American Literature, a tale of ambition, and blinded love. This classic will continue to resonate with generations of readers to come.

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