Tag: star students 2021

Oct 21

October 2021 Students of the Month

Lily, Age 7

Lily is very special because she is enthusiastic and wants to learn new things.

When doing an assessment the example “compound word” came up. After I explained what that was and she came up with examples we now look in the reading to find compound words. She seemed interested in learning about money. We had fun with it, acting out buying and getting change. She worked hard on finding the right change and wouldn’t give up until she did.
-Margie Johnson, Volunteer Tutor

Serena, Age 11

Serena’s boundless curiosity is a marvel to behold! She’s always seeking to expand her knowledge on new and familiar topics, from astronomy to creative writing, math to interior design. It’s such a joy to witness her enthusiasm for learning.

Serena is such a fast and voracious learner—not to mention incredibly smart—that she’s found it challenging to be challenged! We’ve worked together to find advanced learning programs that meet her needs. We’ve also had fun exploring subjects that are new and interesting to her, like Shakespeare’s plays. For me, the goal is to encourage Serena to stay curious and interested in learning—the opportunities are endless for her!
-Sara Williams, Volunteer Tutor

Khalil, Age 9

Khalil is so special because he is such a warm person and sweet soul. He loves to learn and loves to share interesting facts about things he is passionate about! He loves learning about different places and sharing information about the places he reads about. He’s also an incredible artist!!

Khalil LOVES animals and wants to work with them in some capacity. I also hope he travels the world and gets to see all the places he loves to read about. I also definitely think art will play a role in his future.
-Elyse Stelford, Volunteer Tutor

Mariam, Age 12

Mariam says “My main dream for the future is to try to help to make the world a better place and to help as many people as I can. One of many hopes of which I have is to become a nurse. By doing so, I can nourish and care for the children who are the next generation. And if the next generation of people are loving, caring, and helpful, then everyone can strive for a better tomorrow.”
-Tim Bonds, Volunteer Tutor

Breenah, Age 15

Breenah is very sincere with her work. She is very determined and never gives up. She is very attentive and always strives to do her best.

Breenah was having problems with reading comprehension, so we focused on reading books in her free time. During our sessions, she started reading passages slowly and giving attention to details. Slowly she improved and now her reading comprehension has improved drastically.

Breenah loves animals and wants to become a veterinarian to help rescue dogs and animals.
-Rithvik Kotla, Volunteer Tutor

Haze, Age 12

Haze is such a positive, kind, patient, and easy-going individual. She is incredibly hardworking and demonstrates a strong desire to learn. She is never afraid to ask questions if she is struggling with a concept. I admire that she strives to be the best version of herself, work hard, and produce high-quality work. In addition, she is a talented artist, singer, and dancer! 
Haze would like to be a professional artist—whether it is art, dance, or music. I am excited for Haze to further explore her interests as she continues to explore these avenues.
-Erika Lin, Volunteer Tutor

Lexi, Age 15

Lexi has the most beautiful smile, a great sense of humor, and an amazing work ethic. She frequently spends hours with me working on difficult concepts, and she is very determined to do well in school!

The pandemic was hard on Lexi, as she was often sharing a device and/or spotty Wifi with her siblings, but she is amazingly resilient and determined, and she is doing great this year at in-person school. 
-Amanda Zaumeyer, Volunteer Tutor

Hailey, Age 13

Mariam is determined to learn mathematics far above her grade level and is succeeding!

Hailey shows kindness and patience when we are in our sessions. She waits for me to move presentations, images, videos when uploading may take a few moments. When family or friends are near, she speaks to them softly. Hailey has a beautiful smile which invites me into her life when the video/camera is on. Hailey lights up when she shares her school life. Hailey’s friends are important to her and she smiles when she chats about seeing them during class breaks and lunch. 
-Janet Adams, Volunteer Tutor

Sep 27

September 2021 Students of the Month

Amy, Age 6

Amy loves drawing, princesses, dancing, the letter M, tic-tac-toe, and math. A big challenge Amy worked hard to overcome was sounding out letters in the right order when reading. Her confidence has improved dramatically with practice. In the future, Amy wants to be a veterinarian and a dancer, and maybe a mathematician.
-Jessica Spake, Volunteer Tutor

Youssouf, Age 7

Youssouf loves video games (especially Minecraft and Among Us), reading comics, superheroes, inventing funny sentences, and watching Youtube. A big challenge Youssouf has faced was writing on the tablet; at first he said “I can’t write”, but he worked hard and now he writes long words without hesitation. In the future, Youssouf wants to be a policeman and a gamer.
-Jessica Spake, Volunteer Tutor

Benjamin, Age 9

Benjamin has an innate curiosity and tends to think outside of the box. I can tell he is creative, and already has certain passions/interests that he is developing. He is a really, really good kid. One challenge that Benjamin faces is how to struggle through uncertainty to get to an answer. Benjamin likes playing games that require building things. I hope he finds passion in any endeavor that requires creating.
-Mohammad Fidaali, Volunteer Tutor

Miguel, Age 13

Miguel is kind, responsible, and has a great attitude toward life. He has a growth mindset, even when working on challenging schoolwork. He is also a good big brother. Some concepts in math and language art have been a challenge, as well as just keeping up with all of the work from multiple classes. We work on it by always starting with an overview of the calendar, courses, or upcoming work. Then, we dive into a specific lesson. Miguel loves gaming. We talk about the possibility of going to college to study gaming and be a part of e-sports.
-Kelly Bauer, Volunteer Tutor

Amy dreams of becoming a photographer in the future. Working with Amy has taught me a lot about patience and perseverance. Solidifying new concepts in math takes a lot of practice and can be frustrating, but Amy never gives up.

Jeremiah, Age 11

Jeremiah is special because he is determined and excited to learn and grow during each of our tutoring sessions. He has a positive mindset and is willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that he understands what he is learning both at school and during our tutoring sessions. During our tutoring sessions, Jeremiah struggles with math problems that involve words. We are working to overcome this barrier by trying to relate the problems we are solving to everyday scenarios that Jeremiah might encounter and understand. Jeremiah hopes to become a gaming YouTuber, actor, or boxer in the future.
-Michael Yu, Volunteer Tutor

Alex is really enthusiastic about multiple things such as Legos and drawing. He has a really creative mind and has a lot of ideas whenever we have time to do some drawing activities.

Aug 23

Students of the Summer (2021)

Anthony C, Age 9

Anthony has been working on reading comprehension and multiplication. He would like to be a police officer when he grows up. Anthony has a positive attitude and a willingness to learn!

Maximillian, Age 8

Max is equal parts silly and animated. He makes the sessions light by always cracking hilarious jokes or doing impersonations. His energy and liveliness during sessions would give even the Energizer bunny a run for its money! Max is an avid gamer and would love to explore the field of game testing and development. One of his current favorite games is Minecraft.

Our sessions focus primarily on language arts, specifically phonics and reading comprehension skills. Sometimes we learn new things and Max has a difficult time working through the process of mastering a new skill. He automatically deems new things as hard, difficult, or unnecessary. Yet by the second time he is exposed to the material, he has had a chance to process the steps and is no longer protesting the material. Sometimes it’s difficult for him to see the “end goal” but we try to work through these mental blocks through encouragement and pulling in real-world applications of the material. I greatly appreciate having the support from his parents as well! It’s nice to have a backup on your side when debating with an 8-year old 🙂

Luna, Age 9

Luna is super creative and silly. We’re writing a story based on two characters she came up with: Barney, a grumpy farmer, and Dino, his “legendary blue dinosaur”. She comes up with the funniest storylines and details at the drop of a hat. Luna is a great student and a hard worker. Her main challenge is that she often goes too fast, and ends up making small mistakes or mispronouncing words that she knows. We’ve worked on being more aware of it and taking deep breaths to help us slow down. She’s often able to do it on her own now!

When Luna grows up she says she wants to be an art teacher and to “help dogs in need”, which really speaks to her big heart. I’ve learned a lot from Luna about patience. She never gets angry or frustrated when the work is hard; she’ll push through until she understands the concept. I’m always so impressed with her perseverance.

Amy, Age 12

Amy’s positive attitude and willingness to learn makes her a very fun student to work with! A big challenge for Amy was remembering all of the different rules for adding and subtracting fractions vs. multiplying and dividing them, which can be tricky. However, Amy was able to master this skill through practicing each week.

Amy dreams of becoming a photographer in the future. Working with Amy has taught me a lot about patience and perseverance. Solidifying new concepts in math takes a lot of practice and can be frustrating, but Amy never gives up.

Alex, Age 6

The thing that makes Alex special is his energy and positive attitude. Everytime we have our weekly sessions, he always seems to have a smile on his face and has some fun stories to tell about his weekend. He is always eager to learn and try different subjects or topics each week. Something that Alex has found a little challenging is reading. We have worked on it by always doing some sort of reading or short spelling activity every week along with our math and art activities.

Alex is really enthusiastic about multiple things such as Legos and drawing. He has a really creative mind and has a lot of ideas whenever we have time to do some drawing activities.

Anthony M., Age 17

What makes Anthony so special is how friendly he is. Meeting teens for the first time can be stressful but the first time I met him I instantly felt comfortable talking to him. Anthony is planning on attending college and getting a part-time job in the near future. He is also considering a career as an animator since he loves art. Anthony has been through some hard experiences in life and he still has a positive attitude about his future and life in general. I find that very inspiring!

Freddy, Age 17

Freddy worked diligently over quarantine and was able to end the year with straight A’s while also growing his side business using the budgeting tools he gained through the BUS Program! Certain classes have been challenging because the concepts aren’t explained very clearly, so we’ve worked together to learn how to problem solve and find information on our own! I think these will be extremely helpful skills for him to have in both college and the entrepreneurial world.

Freddy definitely has a great mind for business, and currently he plans to study that area in college. I’ve learned all about his side business of reselling shoes! He’s very knowledgeable and has put so much work into growing the business efficiently, including managing the budgeting, organizing inventory, shipping, and even marketing using social media.

Sergio, Age 11

Sergio wants to become both a professional boxer and the first in his family to get a college degree. I think that boxing has taught him to work hard, and I have seen this translate to his schoolwork. Whenever I go over a challenging concept with him, he does not usually get it the first, second, or even third time. He keeps going and striving to understand the concept. His perseverance often amazes me, and I believe this will take him very far and allow him to reach his dreams.

I first noticed in his writing that there were many run-on sentences and a lack of punctuation and capitalization. Through the many writing assignments he had, we worked on using periods and commas as well as capitalizing the word “I” and the first letter of every sentence. There have also been weeks when we met more than once to work on his writing. By helping him practice as often as possible and letting him know about his improvements, he has become a better writer. Sometimes, he is able to tap into his creative side and let his thoughts out without my help.

May 25

Students of the Month (5/21)

Allison | Age 5

Allison is an animal lover and a kind and patient big sister to a brother who always wants to be involved with whatever she’s doing. She is observant, quick, and a bit of a prankster!

Reading confidence has been a big challenge, but Allison has persevered and has recently read whole books out loud without hesitation!

She’s looking forward to making new friends in her next classroom. She admires her older sister’s ability to pick up new big books to read for fun, and she’s being a patient and caring big sister to her brother who always wants to be doing what she’s doing.

Jonathan | Age 6

Jonathan brings so much love and attention to his work. He is kind, funny, and loves school! He is also a literal master of Tic Tac Toe!

Jonathan has found some words challenging to read out loud. Not only do we have a list of words we go over at the beginning of every session, but we also try to incorporate those words into our homework and conversation!

Jonathan hopes to be a firefighter or a scientist or both when he grows up. He also cannot wait to travel into space and visit Mars!

Jonathan continually encourages me to approach tutoring with more compassion, enthusiasm, and humor! He has also tried to teach me his mastery of Tic Tac Toe and the secrets to some of his magic tricks!

John | Age 5

John LOVES numbers. He likes to count things. He likes to add and multiply. He likes to try to think of the biggest number he can. He also enjoys drawing and likes Batman and Sonic the Hedgehog.

In our tutoring sessions, we have focused on early literacy and phonemic awareness. John has made great progress and is becoming a reader!

When I asked John what he would like to be when he grows up, he said, “I would like to be a superhero.” And when I asked him about any dreams for the future, he said he wishes he could be very strong.

Mar 2

Students of the Month (3/21)


Age 13

Himika loves to read different books, and is also learning Japanese! In math, she has been struggling with exponents but we worked on that and it’s gotten much better now!

Working with Himika, I have learned that even though some concepts can be tough to master with many different intricate parts, more and more practice can lead to amazing progress!

Aditya Kalahasti & Darren Cao, Tutors


Age 19

Irvin is very special because he is so eager to learn and he is such a courteous young man. Since he has had so many breaks in his education history, the online system (made necessary by the pandemic) is especially challenging. Nevertheless, Irvin is making great progress toward earning his high school diploma!

Irvin wants to become a chef, and someday open his own Mexican restaurant. Working with him, I have seen and learned the power of resilience.

Judith Seki, Tutor


Age 6

Yozelyn loves to draw, play soccer, and use her imagination to play pretend. Her favorite colors are baby blue, royal blue, gold, baby pink, and baby purple. She loves cats, koalas, and bunnies.

When Yozelyn grows up she would like to be a police officer or a nurse. I have learned that consistent one-on-one time spent on literacy skills allows students to make gains they need to become fluent readers. Every child deserves the opportunity to become a strong reader.

Yozelyn has also taught me that she learns better when I am open to her sense of humor. She loves constructing sentences that make her laugh when we learn new sight words, and I have learned to be flexible!

Mia Kenworthy, Tutor


Age 9

Amari’s unmatched and diligent work ethic makes him extremely special. He has had a little difficulty regarding mathematical equations, but after weeks of arduously working on the skill together, he has mastered it.

While not certain about what he wants to do in the future, Amari knows that he wants to go to college.

I have learned many important lessons from my student, including thinking in a different perspective, which allows me to benefit him even more.

Shant Khamo, Tutor