Valued Youth Partnership

Nathan Gómez – 2024 Second Place Middle School Reflection Winner

Nathan GomezNathan Gómez

8th Grade, Dwight Middle School, San Antonio

How I Have Grown

My name is Nathan Gómez and I am an eighth grader at Dwight Middle School. I joined this program because I knew that it would help me be more responsible and make better decisions. The IDRA Valued Youth Partnership has encouraged me to work on myself more and act more mature. I have started to work harder in my classes and be more responsible for my actions. This program has shown me a lot of discipline and how to really handle things myself and show my tutees how to be respectful to one another.

When I first started this program, I was scared because I had no experience in teaching or anything to do with teaching. In my perspective I didn’t think I fit the role of being a tutor because I didn’t take anything seriously and I would see everything as a joke. I was just a normal troublemaking kid, and those troublemaking actions weren’t going to cut it anymore, especially in front of little kids and professionals.

I knew I needed to grow up, and that’s exactly what I did. I had my first interaction with my tutees, and it went amazing, and surprisingly I did better than I thought. Slowly I started learning how to communicate better and how to teach my tutees. I have had many good and difficult experiences with them. I have had to send them back to their desk for not behaving appropriately, but I have also been able to reward them for being on their best behavior.

There have been days where I think to myself, “This is too hard.” But I know that this program isn’t just about teaching little children at the elementary school, it is about helping us evolve as people and get ready for the future. By being in this program, I have seen so much growth and improvement in myself, and I am very grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of this amazing program!

See the booklet with all the winning reflections from 2024 (pdf).

See highlights poster (PDFImage)

The IDRA Valued Youth Partnership is a research-based cross-age tutoring program. According to the Valued Youth creed, all students are valuable, none is expendable. The lives of more than 737,000 students, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program.