When I retired as an English teacher at a west suburban high school, I began my search for volunteer work. I was searching for something that would also provide a sense of community and fellowship. Researching the PRC website inspired me to begin there.
I’ve been tutoring for quite a few years. I vividly remember one of my first students; a woman from Africa. She had some very real challenges: physical, mental, and personal family issues also. Her goal was to get her GED and a better job. She hoped to return to her homeland some day. In spite of all of her challenges, she showed up to study each week and refused to give up. Her tenacity and courage amazed me.
My students are my friends. They know they can call me for advice. I’ve helped them look for jobs or go through legal letters. I interpret for them and find answers to their questions. They trust me. I have learned from them as they have learned from me.
People pretty much want the same things. We all want safety for our families and peace of mind. Each time I walk into PRC, I am reminded how fortunate we are to live here, in the US, in the western suburbs. I wish I could provide a pathway for them to a better future.
I wish it wasn’t so difficult.
Most people don’t realize that they don’t need a teaching background to tutor. Tutors are more mentors than teachers. You can be from any background. All you really need is the desire to help someone else.
PRC makes our job rewarding by listening to our concerns. Support is always there. They lean in. They are high caliber people.
I feel privileged to be a tutor. It’s not a service that I’m providing. I am proud to be one of the PRC tutors.