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Volunteer Spotlight: Anne Jbara

Anne Jbara–or “Miss Anne” as she’s known ’round these parts–has been a valued CYC volunteer since October 2012, working with students at Congress Elementary, the Cook Arts Center, and the Andy Angelo Press Club. Additionally, this fall, she will become our newest workshop leader. Miss Anne, we don’t know what we’d do without you, and we hope we never have to find out!

What is your favorite part of volunteering with the CYC?

I love hearing all the funny things our kids have to say. Writing isn’t always something they initially enjoy, so it’s fun to see how they come out of their shells once they get going. They have so much going on in their brains, and all we need to do is cultivate that creativity.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from the Minneapolis suburbs, but I’ve lived all over the Midwest and made my way to Grand Rapids last summer.

You found a genie in a bottle. What would your three wishes be?

Assuming that poverty and war have already been addressed…

1) A lifetime supply of ice cream in a variety of flavors

2) The ability to transport myself anywhere in the world with the snap of my fingers

3) More wishes, of course!

What is the best adventure you have ever been on?

My husband and I traveled to Egypt a few years ago, and it was incredible. We climbed Mount Sinai in the middle of the night just in time to reach the summit at sunrise. The darkness and random camels (seriously) made it extra treacherous in places, but it was definitely worth it.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Ring the bells that still can ring / forget your perfect offering / there is a crack in everything / that’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

If you had to pick between a wallaby or a platypus for a pet, which one would you choose? Please do tell us why.

This is an impossible choice. They are both so cute! I would adopt one of each. I’m sure my cats wouldn’t mind.

Do you have a favorite place to read or write?

I love (almost) nothing more than crawling into bed with a good book on a rainy Sunday afternoon. This generally precedes a long, luxurious nap. As for writing, all my best ideas usually come to me in the shower or in the middle of the night, so it’s always a mad dash to get them written down before I forget.

When you aren’t at the CYC, what do you do?

I was a student for such a long time that having the brain space for hobbies is very exciting. I really enjoy cooking and baking, and I’ve gotten into gardening this summer. Road trips, wandering around tiny Michigan beach towns, and tromping through the woods are also high on the list this time of year. By day, I work at the Legal Assistance Center, another fantastic non-profit in Grand Rapids.

Is there anything else that is important for the whole world to know about you?

I pretty much always have a song stuck in my head. I’m usually good at keeping this to myself, I think, but sometimes I realize I’m quietly humming as I make my way through the grocery store. So, you’re welcome in advance if I get “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” stuck in your head in August, too.

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