Marlea is a self-identified "volunteer-aholic."
Growing up in Michigan, Marlea's father was a devoted member of the Methodist Church, and he made volunteering a priority in his family's life. Serving others is still engrained in Marlea. When Marlea retired in 2015 from teaching Industrial Tech to junior high school students, she wanted to do something to benefit the community.
On one of her frequent visits to the Itasca Community Library, she saw a Literacy DuPage English conversation group taking place. It piqued her interest, and she began helping with the group. She completed new tutor training, and after graduation, Marlea continued assisting the conversation group. She also began one-on-one tutoring. Marlea and the student rapidly progressed, so much so that her student tested out of the program! Marlea then decided to only focus on the conversation group and became the official conversation group leader.