Rhoda first began working in prisons when she lived on the East Coast. After moving back to Austin, Rhoda felt compelled to continue this line of volunteer work, that’s when she learned about the Women’s Storybook Project. “On my very first trip to one of the units in Gatesville, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to make this program a part of my life.” Well, that’s just what Rhoda did, and she’s been involved for over 15 years!
In 2019, Rhoda became a team leader at the Lockhart/Coleman Unit with Margene Beckham and Laura Smith, and she says her work with WSP never gets old. “Every time I go, I come home refreshed and inspired by the people I’ve been with. Being a reading teacher, I’m so impressed with how Judith Dullnig took this idea about connecting children with their incarcerated moms through books and built such a wonderful organization with it and how Jill Gonzalez took over and further expanded the program in so many incredible ways.”
Rhoda’s favorite thing about working with WSP is the dedicated people she’s met over the years. She loves how they inspire and motivate her to do more, and she hopes that other people know how important it is to help these children have this connection with their moms. “They can hear their mom’s voice reading them a story, see her writing, and know that she loves them even though she cannot be with them.”
Apart from working with Storybook, Rhoda enjoys staying active. Running used to be a huge part of her life, and she even ran a marathon! Now, she regularly swims at Barton Springs. Go, Rhoda, and thanks for everything!