Brianna Garza – 2023 Third Place Middle School Essay Winner

Brianna Garza – 2023 Third Place Middle School Essay Winner

Brianna Garza

8th Grade, Alan B. Shepard Middle School, San Antonio

Brianna_GarzaThe IDRA Valued Youth Partnership program has been a blessing to be a part of, especially being able to help kids out every day with things that kids all over the world struggle with on a daily basis. I know how hard it is when your brain is still trying to learn new things every day. So, with the IDRA Valued Youth Partnership program, that is possible for the kids.

I’ve always wanted to be able to help kids with things that I used to struggle with as a kid. The whole experience about being a tutor makes me feel great. But the thing that sticks out to me the most is the way the kids light up when they see me and how they thank me for helping them throughout the day.

When I was little, I would struggle a lot with my classwork while everyone else understood it. Now that I’m looking back at it, I wish they had this available for me while I was still in elementary. If I had a program like this when I was little, I would have had an easy time with tests and much more in school.

The kids tell me these phrases a lot, “I don’t understand this” and “How do I pronounce this?” throughout reading or with questions. Whenever they ask me, I go back and help them, even if it’s just to help them pronounce a word or to read out a question. It is also warming being able to help them because I know I was able to relate to them when I was around their age. But now I’m older and able to comprehend things that I couldn’t when I was around 10 and 11 years old. So now I can use things I’ve learned over the year.

The thing that gets me up in the morning is my tutees. Every morning I get up because I know I have to tutor them, and they depend on me to help them with their work. Their work always gets done when I’m there with them. And I know it’s a big help to their teachers too.

It is also nice to get to know your kids because wherever you go it makes the experience more fun. We get to learn things while having fun and being able to enjoy ourselves.

Since I’ve become a tutor, I’ve made many new changes in my life. I have been waking up every morning early just so I can get there in time to make it to the bus. I’ve also learned new things for them so I can be able to show them what they are learning. Essentially, I am also getting taught things while tutoring. It’s also changed me in my attitude and a different perspective on helping others, especially children younger than me. Now I find it nice being able to help others. I now realize what big impact it could make in someone’s life.

Throughout my experiences I think it’s helped a lot, it’s made me more caring, thoughtful and much more. The kids make me love tutoring. I think that bonding with the kids is a very important part of working with kids, and I think it’s what makes the IDRA Valued Youth Partnership amazing.

See color highlights flier for 2023 (pdf).

See the booklet with all the winning essays from 2023 (pdf).

The IDRA Valued Youth Partnership 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 725,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program.