In I’RAISE's tutoring program, the tutors get as much out of it as the students.
"Our sessions are the highlights of my week,” says I’RAISE volunteer Georgia, who has been tutoring seventh-grader Zach since 2020.
Their sessions are remote, as Georgia lives in New Jersey, and Zach in Maryland—but fully engaging and productive. When Georgia enters medical school in Washington, D.C. this fall, she plans to continue working with Zach, with the potential to meet in person on occasion.
Georgia uses an array of methods to keep students engaged, from YouTube videos to screen sharing the whiteboard feature on Google Meet or on Zoom for math problems. She and Zach take turns reading aloud for English assignments, ask each other questions, and make notes together.
Georgia notes how well Zach has adapted to online learning during the pandemic. She can see his academic growth, particularly in terms of motivation and organization. Zach is pushing himself and has the motivation to do really well, with the attitude, “I want to finish this, I want to get it done.” Zach will stay late, even when tired, for goals such as, “I want to get that A or that B.”
“I really like that about Zach. I’m really proud of him,” says Georgia.
Zach is taking honors classes, and has made the honor roll many times. He has passed his state exams with high marks. For example, Zach is in advanced Spanish classes, with classmates whose parents speak the language. And, he has the potential to get college credit for some of these classes.
“He makes my job easy,” Georgia says of her student, adding, “He’s funny; I love his jokes.”
A first-generation college student and daughter of Greek immigrants, Georgia started working with I’RAISE in 2020, and has been tutoring the same students for almost three years. She is also currently mentoring a fourth grader with special needs through I'RAISE's mentoring program. Georgia starts medical school at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in August.
Georgia began working with I’RAISE because she wanted to give back during the pandemic and help students though a challenging time. She brings the perspective of an underrepresented student whose parents never attended college. Georgia also tutored her sister, and was a peer tutor in undergrad.
"Tutoring Zach just puts a smile on my face,” Georgia says. “He’s such an amazing student and I am grateful to work with him for so many years and be a part of the I’RAISE community.”
I’RAISE is always looking for volunteers, and National Volunteer Month is a great time to get involved! Click here if you are interested in becoming a virtual tutor. Explore additional volunteer opportunities at I’RAISE here.