UChicago offers many opportunities for students to volunteer and give back to the community. Growing up, my mother was involved with different philanthropy groups, and I was fascinated with the work they did. So, once I was old enough, I jumped into every chance I could to give back to the community.
During one of my first weeks on campus, I sat in on an information session about a unique tutoring organization, Students Teaching at Ray School (STARS). Members of STARS tutor English as a Second Language (ESL) students. The organization matches UChicago students to students at the Ray School, an elementary school close to campus. What makes this organization unique is that we tutor students for as long as they attend the Ray School, allowing students to build strong relationships with their tutors throughout the years. UChicago members tutor students twice each week for one hour and also participate in a quarterly field trip.
A typical day tutoring begins by helping students with their homework, but the time it takes to complete homework varies for each student. Sessions last forty minutes, but if students finish their homework early, they practice their English by reading with the UChicago tutors. Finally, with 20 minutes left, students are allowed to play board games! This is a great way for the students to interact with other ESL students and practice speaking English in a more relaxed, fun environment.
The most rewarding experience for me is building relationships with students and their families. The parents are so grateful for the work you do and the progress their children make throughout the year.