United Through Reading Volunteer Gabrielle Juskiewicz and her family photographed on a beach.

Volunteer Spotlight: Gabrielle Juskiewicz

March 7, 2024

The Juskiewiczs are not only a Navy family but also a Submariner family of 15+ years. This means that when dad Brian is deployed, he likely will not have access to WIFI for months at a time. They also never knew how long he would be gone. They used their voice-recordable books to help keep their family bonds strong, especially when the kids were young.
Mom, Gabrielle, remembers, “When our daughter was three years old, she would fall asleep with the lights on, listening to and holding her ‘Daddy Books.’ It was her connection to him. My son struggled with reading when he was young and didn’t want to practice reading, which was part of his daily homework.” Instead of Gabrielle fighting with him, “I told him to ‘read’ with Dad. Flip through the book and let Dad read to you. The voice-recorded books by Brian really helped. So much so that my son is now an avid reader. He wanted me to share that he is currently working his way through the Wheel of Time series because he loves reading.”

When Gabrielle learned about United Through Reading in 2020, she knew she had to volunteer and bring the magic of reading together to other military families. Gabrielle has helped spread the word about the benefits of service members making video-book recordings both to her personal network and representing United Through Reading at events. Most recently, she decided the families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam needed a Story Station, too.

Gabrielle shared, “There are not a lot of resources specifically for the Junior Enlisted Service Members, and these deployments are huge burdens on them and their families. I hope this physical space will help them feel like someone is doing something for them and their family, and having it right there will allow them to get this important thing checked off their list before they go, and it will have a lasting effect throughout the whole deployment.”

Opening day party set up at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam's new United Through Reading Story Station location at Sub Base at BLDG 1588, Waterfront Street.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam’s new Story Station opened on February 27th. We’re very grateful to Brie and the Pearl Harbor Submarine Officers’ Spouses’ Association volunteers for all their hard work getting this new location open and to the Navy League of the United States, Honolulu Council for the opening day treats!

Story Station location:
Sub Base at BLDG 1588 Waterfront Street
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96860

If you want to help Brie with operations or sign up for a recording slot, please email UTReadingHI@gmail.com. If you’d like to locate a Story Station or need more information about opening a Story Station location, visit our Where We Are page.

Family photo credit Following Seas Photography