Student Tutor Spotlight: Deniesha Smith-Bufford & Caitlin Charette

A look back at the month of November gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on another exemplary student and tutor pair. Deniesha Smith-Bufford, a 6th-grade student at Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School, and Caitlin Charette, a freshman at Emmanuel College, have grabbed the attention of Tutors for All staff. This is not only because they are a model for how students and tutors should work together, but also because they have demonstrated the tangible benefits of tutorial.

Although Deniesha is a veteran of the Tutors for All summer program at Young Achievers, she still felt anxious going into the fall semester. Deniesha explained that before getting to know Caitlin, she was afraid her new tutor “was going to be mean… I felt kinda nervous.” However, Deniesha’s behavior in tutorial certainly did not betray these initial apprehensions. Rather, her performance reflects how she and Caitlin have worked well together.

Deniesha has maintained a perfect attendance record this semester, and her Show What You Know assessments indicate an outstanding 21.43% growth rate in her math skills. The words of Denieshas tutor speak just as loudly as these facts: “Deniesha works very hard during every tutoring session,” says Caitlin. “She brings a positive attitude and shows up early.” Program Manager Aimee Mott echoes this positive sentiment about Denieshas attitude, “She’s never even tardy!”

Caitlin has also never missed a tutorial session. Her singular dedication to her student reflects a commitment to her personal goal of becoming a middle school History teacher. Through Tutors for All, Caitlin is gaining hands-on experience in the education sector even though she is only a freshman. “I have learned to interact with a student in a one-on-one setting,” she says.

Caitlin is also becoming familiar with the pleasure of witnessing firsthand the ah-ha moments with students, such as when Deniesha “finally gets a concept and a huge smile appears on her face.” Finally, Caitlin is discovering the joy that is unique to one-on-one tutoring. “Deniesha always makes me laugh when we play multiplication war,” says Caitlin. “She gets really competitive and talks about answering multiplication problems faster than me.” Tutors for All is building the strength and confidence of students and the leadership of young educators.

We hope Caitlin’s experience will serve her well in her future career, and we congratulate Denisha on her accomplishments this semester!

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