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Valued Youth Partnership

Selena Tavera – 2022 Middle School First Place Winner

Selena M TaveraSelena Tavera

8th Grade, Dwight Middle School, San Antonio Texas How tutoring has helped me… While being a part of the IDRA Valued Youth Partnership program, I have realized a lot about myself. I went into this with a mentality of “this should be easy, fun and a good way to make money.” But I came out with a lot more than just those things, and I’m thankful.

I have always been a successful academic child from a young age. In elementary school, I worked hard for the “A honor roll,” but I worked so hard that it became normal for me to do well, grades-wise. I noticed that, in these passing months in eighth grade before I joined the program, I was putting less effort into my classwork and kind of just doing the bare minimum.

Once I joined the program and I started tutoring those little kids, it made me realize and remember why I started working hard in the first place. When I tutor them, they get so excited to see me, and they run to me with books or letter games to do with them. They are so eager to learn, and it has made me eager to learn now too, again.

One of the little girls was done with a math worksheet and asked me to check the work. She had gotten every question correct. I told her she got them all correct and the look on her face the disbelief. She asked if I was lying. I told her “No.” She got so happy like she couldn’t believe she was that smart. I remember being like that. It is the best feeling in the world.

The Valued Youth Partnership has helped me remember what I’m doing all of this for. What I am trying so hard for is, my future. And I am also doing this for elementary school me, to make her happy too.

This program has also helped me with pacing myself. Sometimes, I bring out different kids to tutor. I’ve noticed that I have to go at different paces with them. It has really just helped me understand that being at a different pace is okay.

I want to say thank you for the opportunity to be in this program, to be able to help these kids and for them to help me in a way too. I hope once I end this school year and have my last tutoring session with them that they can be able to say I have helped them a lot.


See color highlights flier for 2022 (pdf).

See the booklet with all the winning essays from 2022 (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.