Lia Preftes


This month we are pleased to recognize Lia Preftes as our Volunteer Spotlight.

Lia started volunteering with Literacy Source in 2005 at our old Fremont location. This year a fellow Literacy Source volunteer and Cascadia College teacher, Tristinn Williams, nominated Lia for the 2018 Sally Wellman Volunteer Award at this year’s WAESOL Conference, which she won!

Here’s some of what Tristinn had to say about Lia: 

Lia has faithfully spent many hours working with individual students to prepare them for their citizenship interviews. After spending all of last year working with Lia in tutoring, her student passed the citizenship interview. Currently, Lia is volunteer teaching in one of Literacy Source’s citizenship courses. This means that she volunteers for over three hours a week in addition to teaching a full course load at Cascadia College. She takes time to get to know the students in the course, and she really cares about their progress and success.

This heartfelt dedication clearly demonstrates the kind of person Lia is. She is warm, friendly, and cares deeply about her students and colleagues, especially students in need. Literacy Source is an organization she really is passionate about because it focuses on this type of student. Lia works hard to make sure everyone feels welcome and included in her classroom as well as in daily interactions. She is an amazing listener who always puts the needs of others first.” 

Where are you originally from? If you’re not from Seattle what brought you here?

I am originally from New Jersey, but I’ve been living here for a long time. I moved here because I wanted to see a different part of the country. I love it, so I’ve stayed. 

Please share something of your life so far and what you would like to do in the future.

I teach ESL at Cascadia College in Bothell, WA. In the future, I hope to continue traveling and learning. 

Why did you choose to volunteer at LS?

I volunteered at Literacy Source from 2005-2007 when it was in Fremont, but the commute became difficult. I was excited to begin volunteering again when it moved to my Lake City neighborhood in 2016.

What do you like about volunteering at LS?

I love volunteering at Literacy Source because it is such a great community. I love feeling that I am a part of what Literacy Source is doing to change lives.

Any stories or highlights from volunteering at LS?

The highlights have certainly been contributing and getting to know the students, staff, and fellow volunteers. It’s especially rewarding to see the progress that students make and to celebrate their passing the citizenship exam.

What might people not know about you? 

All of my grandparents were immigrants to the U.S. from Southern Albania.

Thank you Lia, we really appreciate your long commitment to Literacy Source!