As Scholars Program Assistants, Jules Appleton and Robbie Knipp contribute to FLOC in a different way than our one-on-one tutors do. Each week they work with a group of FLOC scholars, and their work is greatly appreciated by staff and students alike.
In this role, Jules and Robbie come to FLOC every Wednesday for two hours to assist the 11th grade Scholars Program Instructor, Amanda Lindamood, in creating and maintaining a productive workshop environment. With a group of about 15 high school students, this is often easier said than done. “They’re very social,” Jules remarked. “There are days when they are a little more hyper than others so sometimes it can be difficult to get them to focus, but somehow they always get all of their work done.” Robbie seemed to agree with this sentiment. “This group of students has been together for a long time, so they know each other really well,” he said.
Still, by the sounds of it, the students truly do get a lot accomplished each week. Rob explained how the 11th grade scholars program is primarily structured around college and SAT prep, and Jules described a typical Wednesday session. “First, we warm up by going over everyone’s week,” she said. “It is a stressful time in their lives, so we have a lot of discussion on stressful topics like choosing a college, a major, and a potential career path.” Robbie and Jules are crucial to helping Amanda facilitate activities, especially when the large group breaks up into smaller groups. They also provide feedback on Amanda’s lesson plans, assist the volunteer math SAT expert, and occasionally work with students one-on-one.
Both Jules and Rob really enjoy their time at FLOC and find it extremely rewarding. “It’s really great to see how much the students have progressed over the year,” Robbie said. “Even in the short time that I’ve known them, they’ve become a lot more mature and some of the students who weren’t as engaged at the beginning of the year are becoming more engaged now.” Jules, who has always had a strong rapport with teens, said that she loves working with the 11th grade scholars because they’re so motivated and youth are our future. “It breaks my heart that so many kids don’t seem to care about their futures, but it’s awesome to come here every week and be around a group of students who really do.”
When she’s not volunteering at FLOC, Jules works at First Book, an online marketplace that distributes books to children in need. Being an avid reader herself, you can often find her in a coffee shop like Tryst with her nose in a book. Robbie was a math major in college and now works as an Analytics Consultant at IBM, which is surprising because he said he hated math in high school. He likes to play tennis, travel, and go skiing, and he’s headed to Croatia in three weeks.
Robbie and Jules are vital to our team here at For Love of Children. With their support and encouragement, our students continue to work hard to do well in school and ultimately achieve their dreams. We feel very lucky to consider them a part of our FLOC family.
(Rachel Baxter is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Assistant at FLOC).