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Valued Youth Partnership

Miranda Torres – 2019 Third Place Middle School Essay Winner

IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – 2019 Essay Contest

Miranda Torres

8th Grade, Dwight Middle School, South San Antonio ISD, Texas

Have you heard about the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program? Well if you haven’t, it is a program to help students comprehend what they are learning. It is a program to help students going down the wrong path to get back on track. We are hired to help teachers that cannot tend to all of the students at the same time, so that’s where I step in to help. But while I’m helping the students, I’m also helping myself at the same time.

Therefore, it’s an inspiration not only to me but also to the students I am tutoring, as I’m used to always being the student but never the teacher. The tutees (as we like to call the elementary students) look up to me, and it gives me a great sense of being needed, as if I’m important to someone. It feels really good to not only teach but also see them happy, smiling and having a good time learning with me. I enjoy going to Price Elementary, so I give a lot of effort to go, and I even look forward to it. I also changed for the better because if I misbehave, I can’t go to see my students. I have even been told that they ask for me when I’m out sick from school. That makes me feel special and good inside. My favorite part is when they are sounding out the words I’m teaching, and I can tell that my being there is making progress with them learning little by little.

It has crossed my mind as a little girl to grow up and be a doctor or a lawyer, but it has never crossed my mind to become an educator. But now that I have had a taste of what it feels like, I would love to be a teacher on a daily basis. To make a difference in someone’s life. It is the best feeling in the world!


See color highlights flier for 2019 (pdf).

See the booklet with all the winning essays from 2019 (pdf).

The IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program 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.