Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Lilibeth Berlanga – 2017 Third Place Middle School Essay Winner

IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – 2017 Essay Contest


Lilibeth Berlanga 

7th Grade, Memorial Middle School, La Joya ISD, Texas. Winner: Middle School Third Place

What does tutoring mean to me? Tutoring can mean many things, but to me it means helping younger students increase their knowledge. In the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, we learn valuable lessons in life. We learn how to respect, to be responsible and to care for someone else.

My tutees mean a lot to me. They are like my little brothers or sisters who I have to take care of and help with things they need. I help my tutees in math, science and reading, just like my brothers. Some of them didn’t even know how to read; I had to read to them at first, and then they would practice reading themselves. As time went on, they would read to me.

Tutoring is important for me because I get to see the minds of my tutees grow. I love to teach my tutees new concepts because, as they learn, I learn. There are times I need to get reassurance from my teacher, because there are new ideas that I have to show my tutees. One of the biggest of these ideas is love and compassion.

My tutees love me so much that they even fight because they want to be with me. They want me to help them, but the teacher has a list that shows me who needs help and who needs to test. The tutees sometimes behave badly, but I talk to them. I make them understand that they need to be good and try their best. They need not behave badly with the teacher, me or each other. The tutees tell each other mean things, like “you’re so ugly,” and I tell them don’t be rude, let’s be nice and be good friends and then help each other up. And my tutee tells the other girl that she is sorry. So that’s how much tutoring means to me.

I love to teach others how to help others and make others feel better and how they can reach their goals. This helps me try my best in my classes and pass, so I can stay in tutoring. Thank you Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program for this great opportunity!

Tutoring is fun and cool because I love little kids. They are so cute. I love showing other kids so they could be someone in their lives. My tutees try their best. I know they’re still little, but they need to learn more. I know when they’re little they don’t understand, but when they grow up they will. This is something I am learning from being in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program. Tutoring others is rewarding because someone else is learning from you what has been taught to you. I have had a lot of fun with them. They are good tutees, and I love them. Sometimes they don’t pay attention to me, but I know that it is part of my job to be patient and guide them back to listening to me.

My mom is very proud of me because I help other kids in need. This alone has made me want to come to school every day. Before, I used to miss a lot of school because I had no motive to go. I would get frustrated by how I was being taught and didn’t understand my teachers. Now, that I am in this program, I have valued more the efforts my teachers are making in teaching me.

I wish to continue this program, but I know it’s a one-shot deal, and I am making the best of it the rest of this year. Thank you, Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, for such a great opportunity.


See color highlights flier for 2017 (pdf).

See the booklet with all the winning essays from 2017 (pdf).

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, created by IDRA, is an internationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program. According to the Valued Youth creed, all students are valuable, none is expendable. The lives of more than 671,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program.