Valued Youth Partnership

Yesenia Villarreal

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – 2013 Essay Contest

Winner: High School First Place

View printable PDF version of her winning essay

Yesenia Villarreal
12th Grade, South San Antonio High School

Since I have become a tutor in the Coca­Cola Valued Youth Program, my passion for being a teacher has grown. Ever since I was in the fifth grade, I’ve wanted to become a teacher. A few of my past teachers have inspired me to become one, because they taught in so many different ways and connected so well with the students. I have always enjoyed learning new things. Understanding something to the point of teaching it is something I really love. I want to continue to grow with my tutees and inspire them like they have inspired me.

Since I started tutoring, I have grown more patient, and many have said I seem more caring. I have grown with the children and have seen them excel in their work. I enjoy working with them and seeing their reactions when they learn something new. Spending time with my tutees has made me realize that everyone learns at their own pace and in a different way. Teaching is not for everyone, but is something I really love to do.

Being in the Cola-Cola Valued Youth Program has helped me think about my future and what I want to do with my life. I enjoyed being in this program and spending time with the children I have met. I really hope that I can continue to tutor and hopefully even teach on my own when I become the teacher I have so longed to be.

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 33,000 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 787,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program. Contact IDRA for more information or see the program website.