Valued Youth Partnership

Sade Harnsberry

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – 2012 Essay Contest 

High School Second Place

View printable PDF version of her winning essay 

Sade Harnsberry
10th Grade, E.L. Furr High School, Houston

Since I became a tutor, I’ve obtained some very important life skills. I’ve developed patience, I’m more responsible and I’ve become more efficient with time management. Tutoring elementary students allows me to impact others’ lives and become a positive role model for my tutees. The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has made a way for me to meet new people and take on responsibilities. Tutoring has also helped me to mature and even get experience working with children. Tutoring not only helps the children, it helps me to get the skills I need to succeed.

Before I became a tutor in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, I lacked patience and I got upset if I had to wait for an absurd amount of time. I realized that my tutees are only in second grade and they are still learning, so they will get off task. I had to just relax and take my time to get their attention and help them learn techniques to get their assignments done. I also had to remember to be slow to anger because it wouldn’t be a good way to get the tutees’ attention. My tutees will do what they see me do, so I have to do what I want them to do.

When I visit my tutees, I take full responsibility. I help them get their assignments completed in the time allotted. I keep them on task and help them to learn new techniques to help them get a better understanding of the work. Since I’ve been in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, I’ve become more responsible. I get my work done and help my tutees in time to still perform any other necessary tasks. I take full responsibility for my actions and make good decisions.

On a daily basis I must leave fifth period five minutes early in order to sign out, get in the car, and get to the elementary. In order to get this task accomplished, I need to be the best student I can be, so my fifth period teacher can trust me to go where I’m telling her I’m going and so I won’t miss any instructions and fall behind. I have to get my work done and am aware of the time so I can spend as much time with tutees as possible and make it back to my school in time for seventh period. I also have to be on my best behavior so I can show my tutees the right path to go down. Not only am I helping them to do better in school, I’m helping them to develop the skills they need to succeed and learn the characteristics of a great leader.

Tutoring elementary students has made me a better person. I have patience, I accept responsibility and I am better at managing time. I’m always on my best behavior when tutoring because my tutees look up to me and we’ve developed a bond. Taking the time out to get my tutees’ attention and explain problems as well as the methods they could use to get the solutions help me to feel a sense of accomplishment. I also take responsibility and learn from my actions. Usually I would lose track of time, but now I plan and am aware of other tasks that need to be done. Tutoring has helped me to become a great leader and I have developed the skills I need for success. I also help my tutees to obtain these skills as well. 

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, created by IDRA, is an internationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program. Since its inception in 1984, the program has kept more than 32,000 students in school, young people who were previously at risk of dropping out. According to the Valued Youth creed, all students are valuable none is expendable. The lives of more than 735,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program. Contact IDRA for more information or see the program website.