Florida Veteran Takes on Challenge at Big Brothers/Big Sisters

By Jayme O’Rourke

Two veterans supporting AmeriCorps

James Randall “Randy” Hindert served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a Sergeant from 1967-1970.  Recently, he began serving our nation again, this time in the local community as a tutor for AmeriCorps at Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties in Florida.

AmeriCorps and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters programs provide individual and small-group reading and tutoring services to students in grades K-3 in St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties.  Members also promote, encourage, and support family and adult literacy through community events. 

Now in his second year, Randy has been a reliable volunteer who frequently takes on extra events and is a strong advocate for education.  His contacts from being a business owner in the community have helped him spread and share this amazing program to many.  By being an AmeriCorps member, he has been extremely beneficial in helping Big Brothers/Big Sisters and AmeriCorps achieve the ultimate goal of increasing the reading skills of students.

The kids aren’t the only ones being helped, though.  When asked about his service, Randy readily admitted that even though it is challenging, he is grateful for the experience.  His leadership and passion for helping the kids is evident in not only his words, but in his dedication to AmeriCorps and Big Brother/Big Sisters.  

“I am rewarded every day I’m with ‘my kids,’ said Randy.  “This has been a challenge for me, since I have never been involved with teaching young children.  I think I have grown as a tutor, but most days the students teach me as well. I am truly grateful for this experience.”

Jayme O’Rourke is the External Affairs Director for Volunteer Florida.

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