Pali High Student Wins Award for Reading Program

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

Natalie Schoemann struggled in school because of her dyslexia and trouble reading. A senior at Palisades Charter High School, Schoemann wanted to not only overcome her challenges, but find a way to help others too.

As a result, Schoemann developed a reading program to support parents who took a parenting class at the Cornerstone Church in West Los Angeles. As many parents inside the class could not afford babysitting, Schoemann’s program gave a place for the children to go and be read to.

The Pali High student’s efforts, which included the collection of over 200 books and sewed book bags from recycled T-shirts for each child, was given the Girl Scout Gold Award.

“I was lucky enough to have parents who supported me through difficult times, and I learned to persevere through the challenges with my learning disorder,” Schoemann told the Palisadian-Post. “Working with young kids has really inspired me and has also made me realize that there are so many ways to get involved in your community to make a difference.

“This whole project has been life-changing for me as it was not easy, but 100 percent worth it.”

Schoemann’s father Sam took great pride in his daughter’s community involvement, and was impressed by her ability to make a difference.

“It was impressive seeing Natalie in action to make the program happen,” he said. “It took a lot of work and dedication. Girls Scouts has been a positive influence in her life for the past 11 years, and I’m so happy she created something that will continue on.”

Looking forward, Schoemann has created a digital signup that will allow the program to continue as she leaves for college and has been booked with enough students to read at the monthly class over the next year.