Ms. Dien expressed disbelief when we called her to let her know that she’d won our first Alumnae/i Raffle and an iPad mini — it was, in her own words, “the first time … (she’d) won anything.” After she got over the shock, she took some time to reflect on her experience as a tutor in our Academic Mindset Program at MGH’s Center for Community Health Improvement.
T4A: Given the wide variety of work-study options available to MIT students, what made you decide to work at Tutors for All’s MGH Program?
Vivian: I had a bit teaching experience beforehand and an interest in education, so finding a tutoring gig as a work-study option seemed like a no-brainer. I choose to work with Tutors for All-MGH at first because it was conveniently located and the schedule worked with my classes at the time. I later realized that I had picked to work with a great organization that really prioritizes the growth of their students and takes a more holistic approach to education.
T4A: What would you consider the highlight of your semester of tutoring at MGH?
Vivian:I think the highlight of my semester was when I challenged my student to take initiative in pursuing some of her life goals–things that were related to learning more about her family heritage/culture and doing research on colleges she might be interested in. She came into tutoring the next week and was so excited about all the things she learned. She was teaching me for a change, which showed heightened confidence, focus, and passion.
T4A: Looking backwards, how has the experience affected you professionally and personally?
Vivian: My experience with Tutors for All has helped me grow in many ways. I have become a better listener, more empathetic, articulate, and patient–which have had positive effects on both my career and personal life.
MGH Program Manager Luisa Baginski also shared her thoughts on Vivian’s service in the MGH program, noting the following:
Ms. Dien “stood out immediately among a cast of stellar tutors as a dynamic, dedicated and ambitious individual. From the outset, she challenged her student, Jasmine, to go the extra mile in her work, and she did! Jasmine clearly caught the energy and enthusiasm Vivian regarded their studies with, and they achieved some remarkable things together. I would be very interested to watch the careers of both these young women, as I suspect they will both achieve great success.”