Highlighting Youth Voices In Their Own Words
Age: 16, 11th grade
Favorite Book: The Last Olympian
Favorite Movie: The Avengers
Place I Most Want to Visit: London
Career Aspirations: Pediatrician
Hobbies: Basketball score keeper
Person I'd Like to Meet: Martin Luther King Jr. or Muhammad Ali
First Job: READ Tutor
More Than A First Job
READ is my first job, but it’s more than just a job. My sister tutored with READ for several years, and she had such a good experience that I wanted to tutor, too. Now I know why she liked it so much. READ gives me a paycheck, but I don’t tutor just for the money. I want to help people, and tutoring makes me feel like I’m contributing to someone’s life—changing their life.
Connecting With The Kids
I want to continue helping people in my career, and READ has helped me gain experience for my future. Tutoring has been great for me because I want to be a pediatrician some day and I get to work directly with little kids. You form bonds with them in ways I never expected. Two of my favorite students would race to get to work with me first. And on Valentine’s Day, one of my students gave me a heart and a Hershey’s kiss, and it made me really happy to know I mattered that much to him.
Putting Students First
I didn’t always know how to work with little kids. On my first day at READ, I was nervous and didn’t know how to start. But I met my student and things naturally clicked. You learn to prioritize them instead of yourself. I try not to use slang, to always have good pronunciation, and to avoid saying “like” and “um.” I’m more in control of how I present myself because of READ. You have to be in control so you can manage the kids. Sometimes you have to bargain with them and tell them, “Read a few pages, and then we’ll play games.” You can use vocabulary games to make sure they keep reading and behave. It takes hard work and sometimes it’s frustrating, but there are a lot of joys that come with it.
For more than 90% of tutors, including D'Anthony, READ is their first job.