Volunteer Spotlight: Kyle Diebel

Kyle Diebel is the Vice President of FirstBank Eagle County. He is also a dedicated volunteer with The Literacy Project of Eagle County’s “Study Friends” program. The Study Friends Program is designed to help middle school students improve their reading, writing, math, and homework skills by pairing them with a trained adult volunteer tutor. “As a volunteer with Study Friends I meet with my student weekly and work with them in any area they are finding difficult or challenging at school. We tend to focus on becoming more proficient at reading and also work to complete homework assignments. It’s not just work though–we do our best to get to know each other and have some fun while working.”

A Colorado native from Aurora, Diebel grew up exploring the mountains and all they had to offer. “I was presented with an opportunity to relocate to the Vail Valley for work from the Denver area and who could pass that up?” asked Diebel. “I consider myself lucky to live in this community where I can enjoy so many things I am passionate about–snowboarding, hiking, camping, and all that the mountain lifestyle has to offer right in my own backyard.”

The heart of The Literacy Project’s life-long learning programs are the volunteer tutors that dedicate their time and energy to teach students in one-to-one tutoring, or group classes. Diebel has just finished his first year volunteering with the program.

“I chose to volunteer with The Literacy Project to give back to a community that I feel offers so much to me. I was lucky enough to have outside influences in my childhood that had a great impact on my education. I realize how important it is to have support; not only from teachers and parents, but others in the community you live in while growing up.”

Over the course of the year, Diebel was most surprised at the wonderful sense of gratification he received personally as his Study Friend’s homework grades and test scores improved.

When asked what literacy means to him, Diebel sees the big picture: “Someone once described literacy to me as freedom, and I have interpreted it as such ever since. Literacy opens doors.”