If there’s one thing Skyanne Fischer loves, it’s books, especially young adult fiction. So she took found a way to make a difference in the world through her love of books! It all started in her local library, where she volunteered shelving books, thus feeding her addiction of paperback and hardcover literature. But she wanted to do more.
So in 2009, she co-founded PAYA, a coalition of Pennsylvania young adult authors, bloggers, librarians, readers and other book lovers. Their mission? To share their love of YA books with other Pennsylvania book lovers, and to raise money to support libraries throughout the state. Sweet!
Like a Boss is happy to feature Skyanne Fischer (and all her books!) as this month’s Teen With a Heart. Here’s what she had to say about her life as a literary volunteer!
LABG: We LOVE that you combined your love of books with volunteerism…it’s a win-win! How big of a role does your volunteer work play in your life?
Skyanne: Volunteering plays a pretty big part in my life, even though a lot of it starts out subconsciously. I just love doing things for other people, so a lot of the things I decide to do benefit other people. PAYA obviously plays a big part in my life, because it takes up a lot of my time. When it’s time for the big PAYA fundraisers, I basically live and breath PAYA because I need everything to go smoothly to help the libraries.
LABG: We love that you love doing things for other people, too! But where did your volunteer spirit come from?
Skyanne: The first time I volunteered was at my local library. I would go down and help shelve books or organize the shelves. I loved doing it because the library was such an important place to me.
LABG: And now that you volunteer for the organization you co-founded, what do you love most about it?
Skyanne: Everything! I love the fact that I’m promoting reading and helping libraries at the same time. My favorite thing was probably the PAYA Festival that I ran because it was such a fun event for everyone and also raised a ton of money for libraries across Pennsylvania.
LABG: Your event sounds amazing…congratulations! But how do you find time to volunteer between schoolwork and everything else you have going on in your life?
Skyanne: Sometimes it’s really hard. I’m taking nine classes this year, which is really time-consuming and I often take on more than I can chew with the various projects I’m involved in. But with PAYA, it’s always there for me to work on in my spare time, so I try to fit in some time to work on it every day. I can also just show up at the library to volunteer, which makes it nice.
LABG: That’s so great to have that flexibility. So, we know what you love about volunteering, but what are some tangible (and intangible) benefits that you’ve experienced as a result of your volunteerism with PAYA?
Skyanne: It’s really given me a sense of confidence that hey, I CAN make a difference. I’ve also been able to meet some really great authors and people because of all the relationships I’ve had to make to organize the PAYA festival.
LABG: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, and good luck with PAYA!
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