|Valinda Smith (left) congratulates volunteer Maggie LoPresto (right)|
Maggie also gave her volunteer tutor testimony at this event (see following). Her comments will also be published in the February issue of The GLAD Tutor.
Why I TutorCongratulations to all the Award winners. I am a tutor here at GLAD and proud of it.
One of the most fulfilling things in life, I believe, is to have a purpose; in addition to reaching for our own personal goals. After attaining, or even during our striving to reach our goals, we can step out of ourselves and look to see what we can do for someone else or for our community as a whole. Usually we don't have to search. We can see the need and with a little effort realize what we can do to provide for that need. That can be our
purpose. We can give what we have to give.
I have been blessed to receive a BA from Rutgers University and a postgraduate degree from Upsala College and I feel it is my duty give back. So, after retirement from employment and raising children, but still blessed with good health and lots of energy, I began volunteering at schools and hospitals and then tutoring in the literacy program here at GLAD.
As a tutor, I draw upon my education, my life experiences, and my religious faith. I try to impart the skills I have learned, teaching my students some of what they need to know to achieve their goals. Not only the knowledge itself, but other things too such as good study habits and focusing on the task at hand. I am not alone in this; I know the dedicated teachers here at GLAD emphasize these as well. These are some of the things we learn which go along with and aid in acquiring an education. I try to maintain patience and a sincere empathy. Notice I said empathy, not sympathy or apathy. I remember when I needed someone to be patient with me and to understand that I needed a boost; not someone uncaring who just put the knowledge out there for me to get if I could; or someone feeling sorry for me and sugarcoating a real-life scenario which would be just as detrimental to my functioning in the real world.
My faith requires that I do all this in love. This is the easiest part for me. I hope that my love for God shows when I show love for others. None of us wants to be made to feel inadequate.
It may seem early to mention this, but remember we are all in this together. You also have a responsibility, as you reach toward your goals, to give back. Let's bring each other along as we reach for the stars.