AHC’s Teen Tutoring program provides one-on-one tutoring for middle and high school students every week during the school year. The program is making a difference in the lives of the teens who participate – and also the adults who volunteer their time. Following are some comments from two volunteers – Joanna Miller and Bill Arvidson.
Joanna: My husband, Roger, and I started volunteering about five years ago. We thought tutoring would be a good way to give something back. The other appeal was helping people in the community because I’m a native Arlingtonian.
Bill: I’ve been tutoring for 10 to 12 years. My personal motivation was my concern about how many young people fall out of school for a whole range of reasons from academics to family situations. I thought one thing I might be able to do is tutor to help keep them in school and away from other influences such as gangs.
Joanna: The more I’ve done with tutoring, the more I realize education is such a fundamental key to success. Anything that can be done to further that means a lot. AHC is definitely giving these kids an opportunity to get a good start. We’ve seen that those who stick with it achieve greater things than they otherwise would have without the support. The other thing is the effect on families who have several kids in the tutoring program. We have seen whole families become committed to the importance of education.
Bill: Along with the academic gains, there’s another part of the process that’s key – the bonding that occurs between the kids and the tutors. It helps these kids realize there are people out there who want them to do well, which really helps them develop more confidence and a sense of achievement.
Joanna: Definitely. Once you start tutoring, you get hooked on it. We’ve gotten to know the kids over the years, and have enjoyed watching them grow. It’s nice to know you’re making a difference. My husband recently ran into a student at Washington- Lee High School who told him how much she appreciated my help.
Bill: I get so much personal satisfaction when I help one of these young people get through their homework. And the kids feel good about themselves as well. I’ve had the great joy of tutoring three kids from the same family over the years. I watched them go through middle and high school, which has been amazing.
Top: Roger Brown and Joanna Miller tutor students weekly at Harvey Hall.
Bottom: Jennifer Endo, Resident Services Director, with Bill Arvidson, long-time volunteer tutor