What is your relationship with Northstar?
I started with Northstar as a student in my Freshman or Sophomore year of high school and have come back as a tutor throughout college. I found that my tutor was such a help to me it inspired me to become a tutor too. I am about to complete my Bachelor’s Degree from George Washington University in criminal justice and psychology and have been accepted into the Peace Corps for a position teaching English in Costa Rica.
How did Northstar help you as a student?
I’m about to complete my college degree, but I still talk to one of my Northstar tutors. He helped me through the college admissions process and with SATs - he continues to be a help to me today, as a reference for jobs and internships.
When I was accepted to a private DC high school on a scholarship, I found that the curriculum was really heavily focused on English and History, and it wasn’t my strongest suit. Even though I had done well in school and had gone to a bilingual middle school, I grew up in a Spanish speaking home and my parents couldn’t hire a private tutor so my Northstar tutors were an incredible help.
As a student in Northstar, I could see the progress I was making and I could feel happy about myself. Even if my parents weren’t able to help me with a particular project, I had someone who I could go to for help and who believed in me.
Like most kids, I didn’t start thinking about college until high school. I’m also the first generation in my family to go to college. I didn’t know about FAFSA and I wasn’t sure about the admissions process, but my tutors really helped me. One of my tutors even researched different degrees I was interested and told me about the best schools for that degree. He educated himself and then me. It was incredible.
How has Northstar helped you in working towards your career?
Northstar was a big thing in my life. It was about tutoring and making connections. A tutor gave me an internship that I had in college. So making relationships with professionals and connecting with people in the field you're interested in. Northstar helped me become successful and helped me get through college. It was great to have someone reassure that you're on the right track. It got me through high school and college.
My brother is in Northstar and his tutor sent me an e-mail telling me how proud he was of him and how he wanted to continue helping him how he could during the outbreak.
Northstar tutors and the executive director go above and beyond. In my experience they were really on top of things, and they were there for me beyond just the twice weekly hour and a half sessions. They would check in on me to see how a paper was going or ask if I needed extra help with things. It was like they gave me the extra push I needed to be successful.
What made you decide to become a tutor yourself?
I've been tutoring for Northstar since freshman year of college to give back to the community that gave so much to me. I still consider how every single tutor gives such valuable time to their students. When I switched to being a tutor, I could see how much dedication tutors give and how much students appreciate it.
I work a lot with younger students with tutoring, and you can tell how happy it makes them to be with someone who believes in them. That's my role as a tutor.