Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Travelling Back In Time

Name: Phi Nguyen
From: Houston, Texas
Grade: 12
School: Westfield High School
Votes: 0

Travelling
Back In Time

I
was inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) during my junior
year in high school. NHS recognizes students who exemplify
scholarship, service, leadership, and character. One of the
opportunities that comes along with being a part of NHS is tutoring
elementary school students. I immediately signed up for the
opportunity to volunteer at my old elementary school. I love to see
my former teachers and working with some of them. Although this
volunteering opportunity did not offer a lot of hours like many of my
other volunteering adventures, I chose to tutor elementary school
students because it meant something to me: giving back to the school
that gave me a nurturing environment and a solid academic foundation.

Every
Tuesday after school, I tutor at Beneke Elementary for about two
hours. I have been doing this for the first semester of my senior
year and plan to continue tutoring until the year ends. I am usually
assigned to tutor the fifth graders in math. The math teacher that I
help out likes to assign certain students to certain tutors so I get
to see the same faces every time I tutor and watch our progress.

As
a volunteer tutor, I try to teach my assigned students do math that
seems so simple for me, but not for them. It shows me that I take
great teachers for granted sometimes, because it is hard to teach. I
personally find it hard to stay patient when helping out the
students. Some are faster than others, and some just don’t get it.
Teaching is hard and I probably can never do it professionally;
however, I try my best to help the students to understand their math
topics.

Since
I volunteer at an elementary school, I interact with young students.
It is amazing to think that I was once in their shoes. Sometimes I
even feel like I am travelling back in time. I talk to them about
some of the school’s traditions and see if they are still doing it.
For example, every fifth grade class has the opportunity to nurture
fertilized chicken eggs and watch them hatch. That was the coolest
thing I did in elementary school, and the students I tutored are
doing the same thing.

If
I have learned one thing about tutoring at my old elementary school,
it would be the importance of building relationships. I see the same
students every week and we know each other on a first name basis.
Although our relationship is not intricate, it helps. I know their
tendencies and how they learn. This leads to more productivity and
learning. I feel as if this can help me in my career by learning how
to work with all types of people.

I
believe seven years from now, one of those fifth graders will come
back as a senior to tutor. By setting them up for success in school
now, they will have the opportunity to come back and pay-forward like
me.

Phi H Nguyen, phihnguyen@outlook.com,
832-931-9266


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