Students of the Month – March 2022
Ileen – Age 9
When I first started sessions with Ileen she had a difficult time reading and sounding out words on her own, and struggled to read a full sentence by herself. In the past few months that we have worked together, she has shown drastic improvement. It’s inspiring.
Ileen has taught me how important it is to have a growth mindset in the face of difficulty. She always has a positive attitude during sessions and continues to practice even when she feels tired. Her persistence has truly paid off; she has gone from struggling to get through a sentence to reading a story on her own. I am very impressed to see how she tackles sounding out difficult words and how she pronounces them with ease the following week. We now finish each story with a round of applause!
– Mara Miyashiro, Tutor
Isaiah – Age 8
Isaiah has lots of energy and curiosity, with a charming and friendly personality. He loves his big brother and they the same goal: to be a basketball player or soccer player.
I have learned more from Isaiah than I could fit onto one page. I feel like he has made me a different person. I’m learning how to listen and observe, then dig deep and think how to best make a real connection.
I loved going to Isaiah’s living center and can’t wait to return to in-person tutoring. Isaiah’s playing and interaction with the families there is so fun and interesting to watch!
– Patty Tiso, Tutor
Genesis – Age 6
Genesis is a joy; she makes me laugh! She is 6, in first grade, and very very smart. She always has her homework in her backpack and it is always complete! Since she really does not need help with homework, we work on improving her reading and math, and she does very well.
Genesis is funny in that she has trouble letting me help her with anything. When we were doing in-person tutoring, if we were doing work that required a PC, she would move to it so she could hit the keys. And she does it quite well! She will not quit any exercise till she finishes all the boxes.
– Steven Tiso, Tutor
Nevaeh – Age 15
Nevaeh has a natural talent for maintaining a work-life balance. Additionally, she has confidence and a readiness to pursue whatever challenges come her way while also acting as a wonderfully patient example for her younger siblings.
She dreams of going to college. At the moment she seems to be leaning towards becoming an attorney or studying criminology, but she has varied interests in the arts and writing so she is still exploring many paths. Nevaeh hopes to continue enriching her community and peers by acting as a volunteer, tutor, and mentor for those less fortunate, while also developing herself to become a leader and create a better life for herself and her family.
When I was younger I loved to read science fiction and fantasy books, but after Navaeh selected a mystery novel for us to read together I have discovered that the suspense in a mystery novel is actually top-notch literature! I’ve also learned that building rapport with someone from a younger generation is incredibly rewarding; it provides a glimpse into a different life and mind than my own and it allows me to reflect on the intricacies that make human experiences so unique and powerful at different stages of life.
– Deborah Franza, Tutor
Rafael Iniguez – Age 12
Rafael is amazingly persistent. Despite his unique learning struggles, he does not give up and often keeps working well beyond the full hour. He also agreed to meet twice a week last summer. I admire how he pushes on through difficult work and we celebrate every new accomplishment, no matter how small.
Rafael loves to draw and we have been able to use that as a way to connect with each other and as a relaxing activity at the end of sessions. In the future Rafael wants to own an amusement park. He wants to be the boss. He feels it would be fun.
“I’d tell people what to do,” he says. “I’d train them.” When asked what he would do if his employees have trouble learning he replied, “I’d try to teach them every day. If they did it wrong, I’d help them try harder.”
– Dr. Merilee Sperber, Tutor