Meet the eBoard- University of Michigan Chapter

Nadine Jawad: Co-founder
My name is Nadine Jawad, and I am a senior studying Public Policy. I am one of the co-founders of Books for a Benefit. A primary reason I wanted to work on creating this organization was my personal passion for reading and the recognition of the impact literature has had on my future. Reading has always been very fundamental to my worldview, and I hope our organization can help young readers find the literature they too might enjoy reading. Not all students have the same access to reading resources and I believe in our capacity and duty to do our part in removing the barriers students might face to quality books and resources. The organization has grown exponentially in the time since its beginning. What started as five volunteers has not turned into a network of 200 people who volunteer and dedicate their time to the organization. What I have learned most about the work we do is that often times ignorance is a limitation to advancing education and equity. Many people are oblivious to issues faced by schools and students, but its organizations like Books for a Benefit that bring that level of activism and direct engagement that inform the larger community about issues.

My name is Nadine Jawad, and I am a senior studying Public Policy. I am one of the co-founders of Books for a Benefit. A primary reason I wanted to work on creating this organization was my personal passion for reading and the recognition of the impact literature has had on my future. Reading has always been very fundamental to my worldview, and I hope our organization can help young readers find the literature they too might enjoy reading. Not all students have the same access to reading resources and I believe in our capacity and duty to do our part in removing the barriers students might face to quality books and resources.

The organization has grown exponentially in the time since its beginning. What started as five volunteers has not turned into a network of 200 people who volunteer and dedicate their time to the organization. What I have learned most about the work we do is that often times ignorance is a limitation to advancing education and equity. Many people are oblivious to issues faced by schools and students, but its organizations like Books for a Benefit that bring that level of activism and direct engagement that inform the larger community about issues.

Niha Tiwari: president
I am a senior majoring in International Studies: Global Environment and Health and minoring in Biochemistry.  I am the co-president of Books for a Benefit and have been with this organization since my sophomore year here at the University of Michigan.  I have always loved reading as a child and my passion for literacy and knowledge has gotten me to where I am today.  Through Books for a Benefit, I hope to help foster that same passion and enthusiasm for reading in the communities we partner with.  A good foundation for any child starts with a good education.  I hope to provide additional resources and support for kids through community partnerships and collaborations in order to help them succeed and thrive in all areas of their lives. 

I am a senior majoring in International Studies: Global Environment and Health and minoring in Biochemistry.  I am the co-president of Books for a Benefit and have been with this organization since my sophomore year here at the University of Michigan.  I have always loved reading as a child and my passion for literacy and knowledge has gotten me to where I am today.  Through Books for a Benefit, I hope to help foster that same passion and enthusiasm for reading in the communities we partner with.  A good foundation for any child starts with a good education.  I hope to provide additional resources and support for kids through community partnerships and collaborations in order to help them succeed and thrive in all areas of their lives. 

Malini Dasgupta: Secretary
My name is Malini Dasgupta and I am a junior majoring in Math. I am the current secretary of Books for a Benefit. I joined BFB my first semester of college because it was the perfect way to combine my love for reading and for children. Over the last few years, BFB has taught me more about what goes into providing a quality education to kids and how important it is to have early access to literacy resources. I especially appreciate that BFB acknowledges the structural barriers to education many of the children we work with face, and it is a very rewarding experience to be able to actually engage within the communities to help tear down these barriers. I look forward to participating in our our many upcoming projects.

My name is Malini Dasgupta and I am a junior majoring in Math. I am the current secretary of Books for a Benefit. I joined BFB my first semester of college because it was the perfect way to combine my love for reading and for children. Over the last few years, BFB has taught me more about what goes into providing a quality education to kids and how important it is to have early access to literacy resources. I especially appreciate that BFB acknowledges the structural barriers to education many of the children we work with face, and it is a very rewarding experience to be able to actually engage within the communities to help tear down these barriers. I look forward to participating in our our many upcoming projects.

Kayla Bomeli: Vice president
I am senior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. I am so excited to be the Vice President of Books for a Benefit this year. I joined Books for a Benefit as a way to spend time working with children, and I could have never even predicted how large of an impact that this organization would have on my life. Books for a Benefit motivates me to do what I can to work with my community and the great Michigan community. I proudly believe that every child should have the ability to take pride in themselves, and with the increasing stresses in education, there is little room for this. This organization serves to allow for these opportunities for students to feel proud and to have the motivation to succeed and to love to read. I hope that Books for a Benefit helps to instill a sense of self-respect and gratification in more and more students every semester through our efforts. This organization has inspired me to work to improve education, and I look forward to a life full of this amazing work.

I am senior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. I am so excited to be the Vice President of Books for a Benefit this year. I joined Books for a Benefit as a way to spend time working with children, and I could have never even predicted how large of an impact that this organization would have on my life. Books for a Benefit motivates me to do what I can to work with my community and the great Michigan community. I proudly believe that every child should have the ability to take pride in themselves, and with the increasing stresses in education, there is little room for this. This organization serves to allow for these opportunities for students to feel proud and to have the motivation to succeed and to love to read. I hope that Books for a Benefit helps to instill a sense of self-respect and gratification in more and more students every semester through our efforts. This organization has inspired me to work to improve education, and I look forward to a life full of this amazing work.

Christine Carethers: Marketing Chair
 I am sophomore at the University of Michigan. I am currently one of the Marketing Chairs for Books for a Benefit. I chose to join this organization because of my personal love of reading & encouraging children to enjoy it as well. I have tutored kids before and have found that not only they can learn from me, but I can learn from them as well. Moreover, the passion other students within this organization have for their work is incredible. I am inspired by the love they have for the kids they work with, and hope to contribute meaningfully to the progression of this organization. 

 I am sophomore at the University of Michigan. I am currently one of the Marketing Chairs for Books for a Benefit. I chose to join this organization because of my personal love of reading & encouraging children to enjoy it as well. I have tutored kids before and have found that not only they can learn from me, but I can learn from them as well. Moreover, the passion other students within this organization have for their work is incredible. I am inspired by the love they have for the kids they work with, and hope to contribute meaningfully to the progression of this organization. 

Ashley McKeown: Tutoring Chair
I am a junior in the School of Nursing and the Co-Tutoring Chair for Books for a Benefit. I joined BFB my sophomore year with a friend to try to get more involved on campus not really knowing what it was about. Over the last year I grew to fall in love with the club and everything that it was about. Being a nursing student, almost everything I was involved with on campus had to do with the medical field, but I think it’s important to remember the foundation of any education--adequate literacy. This club helps inspire children to learn and make something great out of themselves. As Co-Tutoring Chair, I hope to continue to provide support for local programs that support kids in their success in education. 

I am a junior in the School of Nursing and the Co-Tutoring Chair for Books for a Benefit. I joined BFB my sophomore year with a friend to try to get more involved on campus not really knowing what it was about. Over the last year I grew to fall in love with the club and everything that it was about. Being a nursing student, almost everything I was involved with on campus had to do with the medical field, but I think it’s important to remember the foundation of any education--adequate literacy. This club helps inspire children to learn and make something great out of themselves. As Co-Tutoring Chair, I hope to continue to provide support for local programs that support kids in their success in education. 

Anna Tushman: Policy Analyst
My name is Anna Tushman and I am a junior majoring in Economics. I am currently the Policy Analyst for Books for a Benefit. I joined this club during my freshman year at U-M because I have always loved reading, and I wanted to help make sure other children would not be prevented from developing a love of reading no matter what their background is. Literacy is a crucial part of a good education that is sometimes overlooked, and so this organization provides programs and resources to help children get the most out of their education. BFB creates opportunities in the schools and communities we work with in so many ways and I feel really lucky to have been able to take part in some of them! 

My name is Anna Tushman and I am a junior majoring in Economics. I am currently the Policy Analyst for Books for a Benefit. I joined this club during my freshman year at U-M because I have always loved reading, and I wanted to help make sure other children would not be prevented from developing a love of reading no matter what their background is. Literacy is a crucial part of a good education that is sometimes overlooked, and so this organization provides programs and resources to help children get the most out of their education. BFB creates opportunities in the schools and communities we work with in so many ways and I feel really lucky to have been able to take part in some of them! 

Essam Al-Snayyan: Co-founder
I am a senior studying physics and biomolecular science. Literacy has always been a passion of mine since I read my first book. Having that experience changed a lot about who I was and my perspective on the way I view different topics. It allowed me to grow and understand that not everyone will have such an experience for reasons that they cannot control. Many of those reasons include being low-income, lacking in the required English skills and knowledge, and not having the proper mentorship/guidance. Essentially, this all boils down to poor access to literacy resources. Books for a Benefit was directly designed and works toward increasing access to literacy resources in the communities we work with specifically in southeastern Michigan.

I am a senior studying physics and biomolecular science. Literacy has always been a passion of mine since I read my first book. Having that experience changed a lot about who I was and my perspective on the way I view different topics. It allowed me to grow and understand that not everyone will have such an experience for reasons that they cannot control. Many of those reasons include being low-income, lacking in the required English skills and knowledge, and not having the proper mentorship/guidance. Essentially, this all boils down to poor access to literacy resources. Books for a Benefit was directly designed and works toward increasing access to literacy resources in the communities we work with specifically in southeastern Michigan.

Maya Eter: President
I am a Senior in the college of LS&A studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. I joined Books for a Benefit because reading has always been an outlet for me to escape from stress and be completely absorbed in another world. I wanted to foster that passion for reading in young students, and Books for a Benefit's direct service opportunities were a way for me to engage with youth all around Southeastern Michigan. I understood the mental health benefits of reading because of my firsthand experience, but throughout my time planning Books for a Benefit's member meetings while I was the organization's Event Coordinator, I began to understand how pivotal literacy is in shaping all aspects of a person's life. Social issues are complex and multifaceted, with issues in education being no exception to that. Issues including poor health outcomes, likelihood of ending up in the prison system, and chances of escaping the cycle of poverty are all deeply entangled with issues in education. By providing literacy resources and support to students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, BFB has become part of the movement towards advancing equitable opportunities in education, and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

I am a Senior in the college of LS&A studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. I joined Books for a Benefit because reading has always been an outlet for me to escape from stress and be completely absorbed in another world. I wanted to foster that passion for reading in young students, and Books for a Benefit's direct service opportunities were a way for me to engage with youth all around Southeastern Michigan. I understood the mental health benefits of reading because of my firsthand experience, but throughout my time planning Books for a Benefit's member meetings while I was the organization's Event Coordinator, I began to understand how pivotal literacy is in shaping all aspects of a person's life. Social issues are complex and multifaceted, with issues in education being no exception to that. Issues including poor health outcomes, likelihood of ending up in the prison system, and chances of escaping the cycle of poverty are all deeply entangled with issues in education. By providing literacy resources and support to students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, BFB has become part of the movement towards advancing equitable opportunities in education, and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

Madeline McCabe: Treasurer
I am a senior majoring in Chemistry, and I am the treasurer of Books for a Benefit. As a student, I know that my success comes from the combined efforts of the many people who cared enough to invest their time in my education, which begins with literacy. In a ranking of my most important skills, the ability to read would come first. Through Books for a Benefit, I hope to help promote literacy not only as a means to an education, but also as a lifelong pleasure. Reading books and debating their ideas is one my favorite pastime – I believe that sharing books with others is the best source of new insights to further a conversation.

I am a senior majoring in Chemistry, and I am the treasurer of Books for a Benefit. As a student, I know that my success comes from the combined efforts of the many people who cared enough to invest their time in my education, which begins with literacy. In a ranking of my most important skills, the ability to read would come first. Through Books for a Benefit, I hope to help promote literacy not only as a means to an education, but also as a lifelong pleasure. Reading books and debating their ideas is one my favorite pastime – I believe that sharing books with others is the best source of new insights to further a conversation.

Raluca Laza: Marketing Chair
I am a junior majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a minor in Biochemistry. I am currently serving as Marketing Co-Chair for Books for a Benefit. I became active in the organization over the last year and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the rewarding events the group organizes. I believe that every child should be able to experience the imaginative worlds possible through books. As a child, I grew to love the different places and characters you could learn about and create through reading stories. I hope to work on different marketing strategies throughout the year to spread our influence and voice on campus. My main goal is to recruit more members, more interest, and more donations in order to proportionally affect the individual educations of as many children as possible. 

I am a junior majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a minor in Biochemistry. I am currently serving as Marketing Co-Chair for Books for a Benefit. I became active in the organization over the last year and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the rewarding events the group organizes. I believe that every child should be able to experience the imaginative worlds possible through books. As a child, I grew to love the different places and characters you could learn about and create through reading stories. I hope to work on different marketing strategies throughout the year to spread our influence and voice on campus. My main goal is to recruit more members, more interest, and more donations in order to proportionally affect the individual educations of as many children as possible. 

Brandon Fazal: Social Chair
I am a junior at the Ross School of Business pursuing a BBA as well as a minor in Biology. I am currently the social chair for Books for a Benefit. Between my business and premed coursework, I try to keep my extracurriculars lighthearted yet rewarding to serve as a change of pace. I joined BFB my freshman year because reading was an integral part of my childhood and helped shape the person I am today. For this reason, I can’t imagine my life without reading and I feel as though books are a right to any child, no matter their circumstance. The club is filled with great people motivated to do great things. As social chair, I hope to bring us closer together so we can display stronger team chemistry to the kids and accomplish even more.

I am a junior at the Ross School of Business pursuing a BBA as well as a minor in Biology. I am currently the social chair for Books for a Benefit. Between my business and premed coursework, I try to keep my extracurriculars lighthearted yet rewarding to serve as a change of pace. I joined BFB my freshman year because reading was an integral part of my childhood and helped shape the person I am today. For this reason, I can’t imagine my life without reading and I feel as though books are a right to any child, no matter their circumstance. The club is filled with great people motivated to do great things. As social chair, I hope to bring us closer together so we can display stronger team chemistry to the kids and accomplish even more.

Sara Eter: Public Relations Liasion
Reading is the perfect way to escape. it has always been a source of entertainment for me. i find myself getting so into the characters and the story that when i put the book down i almost get disappointed at the mundanity of the real world. it wasnt until recently that i realized reading has possibly been the best hobby i have ever started. once a kid likes reading, so many doors are opened up. reading is linked with broadening vocabularies, enhancing comprehension, and making someone a more sophisicated writer and speaker. i know that bringing light to the importance of literacy to kids in under privledged or low ses communities will lead to them graduating high school, being able to write that college application, and eventually getting that job so that their families can escape the hardship they had to face. we can alter a kid's future for the better. i joined books for a benefit because, with the support of the club, we can start doing that now.

Reading is the perfect way to escape. it has always been a source of entertainment for me. i find myself getting so into the characters and the story that when i put the book down i almost get disappointed at the mundanity of the real world. it wasnt until recently that i realized reading has possibly been the best hobby i have ever started. once a kid likes reading, so many doors are opened up. reading is linked with broadening vocabularies, enhancing comprehension, and making someone a more sophisicated writer and speaker. i know that bringing light to the importance of literacy to kids in under privledged or low ses communities will lead to them graduating high school, being able to write that college application, and eventually getting that job so that their families can escape the hardship they had to face. we can alter a kid's future for the better. i joined books for a benefit because, with the support of the club, we can start doing that now.