As a working, full-time student, Tamer Marshood was busy. But that didn’t stop him from finding ways to support his community through social justice programming. He’s taken his big world-changing vision and shrunk it down to actionable size in a hyperlocal program that relies on teamwork.
Feeding by Reading works with schools and communities to organize read-a-thon programs to raise money to feed hungry children and families in their area. The programs bring together local schools, municipalities, and businesses as they empower children to make a difference close to home.
“Having gone through the vision with my mentors, I was much better prepared to convey that vision to others,” Marshood says. “I presented myself and my organization with eloquence and clarity to those I was pitching -- and this is a direct result of the opportunity to review and go through the ‘hiccups’ in the same environment they provided.”
Since its launch, Feeding by Reading has formed partnerships with the New Jersey Institute of Technology to work with the Irvington, New Jersey community, and with Wagner College to serve Port Richmond on Staten Island, New York. Expansion into additional grade levels, the inclusion of additional community service opportunities, and scholarship programs are in the works thanks to the initial success of the program.
“Not only did they point out holes in my plan and provide excellent guidance and support, they also brainstormed with me and offered some great new ideas,” Marshood says. “Their input was invaluable. “
Marshood had previously considered franchising, and remembered SCORE’s help in that arena when he started thinking about a community project. “As we got started working together, more and more questions arose,” Marshood admits. “Having my mentors excited and ready to bounce ideas off of really helped me get organized and take significant actions.”
Marshood says his conversations with his mentors allowed him to better define his vision in preparation for meetings with potential clients and customers.