As a volunteer with the Shared Housing Center in East Dallas, Nikki Hunter realized many of the children she was helping did not know how to read. So in 1998, she took the initiative and created a summer reading program.


Nikki recruited volunteers, solicited donations to buy books, created an incentive system and encouraged parents to get involved. Two years later, the Summer CUBS (Children Using Books) continues to have a significant effect on not only the children, but the volunteers as well.


"Nikki has been the catalyst in our agency for a program that has taken on a life of its own," says Maria Machado, director of the Shared Housing Center. "Her self-confidence and sensitivity have affected our children and families very positively."


The Shared Housing Center was established in 1984 to provide and facilitate affordable housing options. The agency offers housing and services to at-risk populations, including transitional housing facilities in East Dallas.


A recent graduate of the Episcopal School of Dallas, Nikki was also the founder of her school’s Community Service Club and president of the National Honor Society. Coming from a family with financial challenges of its own, Nikki still looks for ways to help those who are more in need.


The Summer CUBS program is currently underway, and volunteer readers are needed every Saturday. To find out how you can volunteer for the Shared Housing Center or one of 1100 other nonprofit agencies, call the Volunteer Center of Dallas County at 214-826-6767 or visit our web site at


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