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Tips & Advice

Bringing Hope to the Classroom

I spend 50 minutes every school day with a roomful of high school freshman. These students would rather talk, text and complain than do their schoolwork. I volunteered to tutor them.

Most days, this seems like a hopeless task. I won’t deny that on occasion, I stick my nose in a book and spend the 50 minutes trying to ignore the sometimes out-of-control students surrounding me.

But then there are days that I rally my strength, get out of my chair and begin the sometimes exhausting task of trying to help. I assist with math homework and English vocabulary. I help a student get organized. I keep a kid who is easily distracted focused.

Volunteering isn’t always easy. In fact, I would say that the most worthwhile volunteer opportunities are also the most challenging. After all, volunteering is about working where help is needed. Be it a town devastated by natural disaster, a hospital wing full of sick children or a group of struggling students who don’t know how to ask for help, the people that need help the most are often the ones surrounded by tragedy, fear and hardship.

As a volunteer, it is my job to bring hope to these hopeless situations. It may be hard, but that is what makes it worthwhile. Knowing that my work and effort is helping another student succeed in school is what stops me from putting in my earbuds and drowning out the chaotic classroom. It is what inspires me give someone else the motivation, support and assistance they desperately need.

While volunteer opportunities are abundant, many people shy away from them because they don’t want to face the challenges that come with helping someone in need. I am here to tell you that I understand. I understand that helping someone else can be difficult at times, but it is worth it. When I look back on this year of tutoring, I remember the challenges I faced, but more than that, I remember that I worked hard to help someone through their own obstacles. That is where I find the motivation to keep on volunteering.