Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Kevin

Kevin Mayer-edited

Kevin is a Thursday night math tutor, who has been volunteering at FLOC ever since he moved here from the Midwest a few years ago. During the week, he is an engineer at a company that designs solar panels, but he always had an interest in tutoring. One day, Kevin came across FLOC in the comments section of a Reddit article on volunteering in DC, and the rest is history!

For Kevin, tutoring is a nice change from his day job; he enjoys hanging out with the kids, and being able to give back to the community by volunteering. One of his favorite FLOC memories is from summer tutoring a couple of years ago: Kevin wished his student luck at her upcoming track meet, and she melted his heart by responding, “Good luck at your job! I know you’ll do well because you’re so smart!”

Tutoring at FLOC has helped Kevin to grow both personally and professionally.  Professionally, he feels as though he is better able to explain complicated concepts to others outside of the engineering sphere. Personally, Kevin said that he has enjoying gaining a better perspective about his community and a greater appreciation for his own education.

(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at FLOC.)

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GW Interns/Tutors, Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Tom and Jess: Tutors & Team Leaders

For nearly 20 years, FLOC has had an invaluable partnership with George Washington University’s DC Reads program, a program of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. Through this partnership, GW students (both volunteers and federal work study employees) are placed as tutors in nonprofits like FLOC. This year,  more than 30 GW DC Reads tutors are placed at FLOC.

Tom Guettler and Jess Williams are serving this year as team leaders for FLOC through the DC Reads program, and they both tutor reading at FLOC during the week.

Tom and Jess

How did you first become involved with For Love of Children?

Tom: I first heard about FLOC through Community Building Community, which is a pre-orientation program for freshman at GW. FLOC sounded like a great way to get involved in the DC community, and some of the guides had great things to say about DC reads as a whole!

Jess: I was looking for a way to get involved in community service when I came to GW, and some friends told me about DC Reads! From there, I chose to work with FLOC, because I was shocked that a city as educated as Washington, DC still has such a high illiteracy rate among children.

What does being a DC Reads Team Leader entail? What do you enjoy about it?

Tom: Generally speaking, we help promote FLOC and generate student interest. Jess and I are also here to be a resource for the GW students who work at FLOC. We help students with their federal work-study arrangements, rescheduling trainings, and facilitate contacting the FLOC office.

Jess: I really enjoy being a resource for students, and having people come to me for help! As coordinators, we also host events within the GW FLOC community. We’ll have movie nights where we share food and watch an educational film, and recently we had a reflection event. Students brought food, and we spent the afternoon discussing out tutoring experiences and sharing stories.

Speaking of reflection, do you have a favorite FLOC memory?

Tom: Last winter, my schedule changed and I wasn’t going to be able to tutor the same student anymore. After I had told both my student and site-coordinator, I ended up changing classes, and was able to return on the same day the following semester. My student was expecting to have a new tutor, and he was excited when I showed up! The coordinator had not told him I was returning, and it meant a lot to know that he cared about having me as a tutor, specifically.

Jess: My story is similar! Last year, I was explaining to my student that I had to go home for summer break. She became a little upset, and repeatedly said she would miss me, asking why I had to leave. I hadn’t realized how close we had become in such a short amount of time, but it meant a lot that she cared whether or not I was there.

Imagine you have sixty seconds to convince someone to tutor with FLOC. What do you say?

Tom: Do it! Tutoring with FLOC has changed the preconceived notions I had about non-profits–FLOC is well-organized, easy to work with, and makes a tangible impact. Tutoring is a wonderful way to give back to the community, and you grow as a person as well.

Jess: Tutoring with FLOC is an excellent way to get out of the “Foggy Bottom bubble,” that you so often hear about here. There is so much more to DC than our neighborhood, and I’m proud to say that I’m invested here. I feel as though I’ve become a citizen of DC, not just a student.

(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at FLOC.)

Scholars Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Jessica, a Postsecondary Coach

JessicaKaushalJessica Kaushal currently serves as a postsecondary coach in the Scholars program where she is matched with a twelfth grade scholar to provide support on his journey towards a postsecondary education. Jessica joined FLOC last year, after a big move and change in industry encouraged her to give back to the community in a more direct way.

Jessica is no stranger to FLOC, though; this past summer she served as a math tutor to an energetic fifth grader in the Neighborhood Tutoring Program. While she loved NTP, Jessica decided to return as a postsecondary coach because she’s excited about providing the support she lacked to a high-school senior. “[Applying to college] is a complicated process,” said Jessica. “Going from a large public high school to a small private university, where it seemed like everyone already knew how to write a long paper, was a huge jump.”

This year, Jessica works with a student named Nicholas, who is interested in pursuing a liberal arts education, just as she did. Nicholas emigrated from Taiwan at a very young age, but after growing up in the city, he’s excited at the prospect of going to school elsewhere. He hopes to pick up some “non-euro-centric” history in college, and perhaps pursue his interest in behavior economics.

When asked why she originally chose to volunteer with FLOC, Jessica said that she appreciates the long-term relationship FLOC has with many of its students. Volunteering at FLOC has also given Jessica a more holistic perspective about the time and resources it takes to educate a child, which has influenced her mindset within the world of public policy.

We’re thrilled to have Jessica back for another exciting year at FLOC!

(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at FLOC.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Mark

MarkFabrosMark Fabros serves as a tutor with the FLOC Neighborhood Tutoring Program. In this role, he tutors high school student Bryant on Saturday mornings in Math.

This is Mark’s second school year tutoring with FLOC. He heard about FLOC through his girlfriend, who knew he wanted to volunteer in math tutoring.  Mark has always enjoyed and been good at math, so he felt it was important to help improve students’ math skills. Mark feels that a big problem this country is currently facing is income inequality, which is driven by inequality of educational outcomes.

Mark enjoys seeing his students persevere through concepts they struggle with and ultimately make progress.  “It’s even rewarding to see how they learn from their mistakes when they don’t pass the test the first time around.”

Bryant, Mark’s student this year, is the oldest student Mark has worked with since joining FLOC, and so they relate to each other easily.  Bryant is really smart, works hard, and is always anxious to learn something new. They are currently working on multiplication with larger numbers, and Bryant is doing well, so he and Mark are very excited to be moving onto long division soon.

(Vanessa Hanible is the Recruitment and Outreach Associate.)

News

Happy National Mentoring Month!

Last night, FLOC partnered with fellow youth-serving organizations Asian American LEAD, Capital Partners for Education, the College Success Foundation, and Mentors Inc. for a volunteer appreciation happy hour to celebrate National Mentoring Month.  It was a great time, with a wonderful turnout, and an excellent opportunity to bring together people from all over the city working toward educational opportunities and other positive outcomes for DC students.

Many, many thanks to everyone who’s volunteered with FLOC this year and otherwise provided mentoring support to our young people!

(Check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds for some photos!)

As part of the celebration, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Beatriz Otero delivered a mayoral proclamation on behalf of Mayor Gray, declaring the month of January 2014 as Mentor Appreciation Month in DC:

mayors proclamation 1

Mayoral Proclamation

Mentor Appreciation Month

January 2014

WHEREAS, January is recognized as National Mentor Appreciation Month and on January 30, Asian American LEAD, Capital Partners for Education, College Success Foundation-DC, For Love of Children, and Mentors, Inc. will host  a Mentor Appreciation Month event at Policy Restaurant and Lounge to celebrate the contributions of its volunteers; and

WHEREAS, this month provides an opportunity to thank those individuals who contribute and volunteer their time, talent and energy to make a significant impact on the lives of others; and

WHEREAS, a caring adult mentor can play a positive role in helping our youth boost their academic achievement, school attendance, community engagement and postsecondary access and success; and

WHEREAS, a day during the month of January is also set aside as “Thank Your Mentor Day” to express appreciation and recognize a mentor who has contributed and made an impact on someone’s life:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, THE MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, do hereby proclaim January 2014, as “Mentor Appreciation Month” in Washington, D.C. and call upon all residents of this great city to join me in commending these individuals for all they do to be good role models and encourage our youth.