In The News & Interviews
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Newsletter, 09/13/2021
MEET RALPH MICHIEL, AN 87 YEAR OLD TUTOR WHO HAS INSTRUCTED ADULTS IN CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH BI-WEEKLY OVER THE PAST YEAR VIRTUALLY ON ZOOM
Why did you volunteer your time to be a Good Tutor?
I believe in helping people. I was previously an ESL teacher for LAUSD. It makes me feel really good to give back. Anyone who can get that kind of feeling is very lucky. You don’t get the same feeling from being paid. I’m getting amazing results from volunteering my time.
During COVID, how has this connected you to other people?
It’s done amazing things for me. I needed more connection, and it’s allowed me to connect to a source of people that I really enjoy working with, in a safe way. Good Tutors helps me expand the people I can help by making it easy to connect with them on Zoom.
What have your students gotten out of this?
One of my ESL students has 2 autistic children and she wanted to be able to connect with the doctors who do not speak Spanish. My conversational English bi-weekly online classes have helped her to feel comfortable to speak with her childrens’ doctors directly instead of through an interpreter. The fact that I can empower her to empower herself is amazing. I tell my English learners all the time, rather than being the worker, you can be the boss. I have shown my students that they have the key to their own success.
How much time do you spend tutoring per week?
I average 1 ½ hours per class, twice a week, so 3 hours per week, all on Zoom.
Oftentimes people think retirees don’t have a lot to offer, what would you say to that?
It’s the opposite. I have experience that I can share, and I can learn from them. People say youth is wasted on the young, but the truth is older people have wisdom and life experiences to share. What a shame it would be not to share with the youth.
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about tutoring?
I would tell them that they can feel very satisfied and have an all-around good feeling helping someone. Tutoring sounds like you need to be very knowledgeable. That’s not the case. It’s not like you are teaching school with that pressure. It’s more like being a mentor. Imagine being able to share any skill or knowledge you have. Everyone has a particular skill that they can share. A lot of people don’t have that skill, and you’ll be able to help them.I would suggest to someone who is thinking about tutoring that you should talk to Tracy. She will talk with you and explore what you can offer as a tutor and answer any of your questions. Good Tutors will make it easy for you and will coach you through the process, again all on Zoom.
How would you sum up your experience at Good Tutors?
It’s the highlight of my week. Your attitude toward life is what makes life not only tolerable but enjoyable. Tutoring is a mitzvah.
Loyola Marymount University Website, April 22, 2021
Volunteer Tutor Helps High School Senior Become "First to Go" in Her Family
...Gartner was already volunteering once a week with LMU service organization Espérer when Covid-19 arrived. It was through them that she learned of Good Tutors, which paired her with Noemi....Gartner’s support helped Noemi’s confidence blossom and her essays improve. This fall, she plans to attend California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) as the first person in her family to attend college. ”I‘m forever grateful for having the opportunity to work with Lindsey,” said Noemi. “She made the writing portion of my applications easy and a learning experience. My high school provided no aid to me during this pandemic, so if it weren’t for Lindsey, I wouldn’t have understood some of the required elements.” Noemi’s mother Adriana R. echoed the sentiment. ”I felt lost as to how to assist my daughter with her college applications,” she said. ”But Lindsey explained the process thoroughly, and helped Noemi with every question and doubt she had.”
Loyola Marymount University Website, June 25, 2021
THROUGH VIRTUAL TUTORING PROGRAM,LMU BOOST AT-RISK STUDENTS IN LAUSD
As a first-year student at LMU School of Education (SOE), Shauna Jimenez M.A. ’23 saw the chance to spend an hour per week tutoring an eighth-grade student named Alex as ideal preparation for her intended career as a school psychologist, even if the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated doing it over Zoom. But as the experience unfolded, it became something more.
Alex’s learning disability caused him to struggle with math. Using Zoom’s whiteboard feature, Jimenez patiently helped him with his homework each week. She got to know both Alex and his mother during these sessions. “Before starting with the math, we’d talk casually about things Alex was interested in,” Jimenez says. “I would let him share his screen to show me the action figures he liked to build, or to play a YouTube video he thought was funny.”
She ended up tutoring him for the entire academic year, not just the single semester she’d signed up for—and saw how much Alex benefited from their time together. “Early on, his mom had told me Alex was lonely and depressed, being stuck in his room all day during COVID,” Jimenez says. “By the end he didn’t need help with the math and was doing much better emotionally. His mom said he really looked forward to our sessions.”
Their experiences are not unique. In the past year, more than 180 LMU students participated in Good Tutors, a virtual service founded in March 2020 that pairs volunteers with preK-12 students from low-income families in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The SOE has been Good Tutors’ largest partner, providing training for volunteers and offering other resources that helped them assist their client families. Since its inception, Good Tutors has delivered free one-on-one tutoring to more than 500 students each week, providing much-needed support during a time of profound disconnection and loss.
Click here to read the full article at LMU's website