Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Getting back on the Train of Success

Name: Rhea Gupta
From: Baltimore, Maryland
Grade: 11
School: Eastern Technical High School
Votes: 0

“CA-TER-PI…. What sound does an L make? Sound it out.
CA-TER-PILL-AR!” This is what my Thursday afternoons started off
as. Soon, it turned into listening to an entire book being read to
me. Jason, an energetic ten-year-old, was my new study buddy at my
local elementary school, who along with a large group of children
from grades 2 through 5 was having a difficult time in math, reading,
and writing. I visited him and his classmates every week for an hour
of learning.

Along with a team of high school students apart of the organization, Skills
USA, I wanted to diminish the pressure of catching up in order to
slow down to fully comprehend the basics. So when we first started
off, we had to stop between almost every word and spend time learning
to sound each letter out. It most definitely is not easy to obtain
the patience to teach someone to read and write, especially with
little prior experience. But with time, Jason and I learned to bounce
off each other and make immense progress. With each week that I came
back, small improvements were seen. He remembered how to read the
word “because” and started to spell tougher words like “people”
and “delicious”. As exhilarating as these improvements were, each
visit allowed us to create a stronger bond. I became a mentor, giving
him advice to improve his work ethic and goofing off with him during
our small breaks. The most satisfying feeling was watching him read a
book with a huge smile on his face as he finally understood the story
he was reading on his own.

This not only helped me enjoy time off from my busy schedule but also
allowed me to see a future working with children. I realized my level
of patience and responsibility as I attempted to shape the bright
future of Jason’s eager soul. This experience made me realize my
love for interaction and my passion to use my knowledge for the
benefit of others. I started to realize this passion throughout
school as I tutored my classmates and jumped to administer advice. It
emphasized my goal to become a cardiologist to help the next heart
patient back onto his feet as Jason was put back on the track to

With my time, I know the impact that I am creating on these young
individuals. My work will impact their futures greatly which can also
be known as the potential for “forward looking”. My time in their
classroom each week is not only setting them up for success in the
present, but also allowing them valuable advice and skill for their
future ventures in education and the work force. As I take the
responsibility to shape their work ethic and comprehension, they will
learn to love school and push themselves to achieve their numerous
aspirations. I am making a difference in their future education and
this is something I hold immense pride in. If and when I happen to
run into Jason and his classmates twenty years from now, I guarantee
they will be leading successful careers and instilling change within
the next generation just as I had done with them. This never-ending
cycle will allow for the bright future of successive generations and
the consistent encouragement of vital education that many of us value

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