Elsie Mayo is a fourth year student in the 3+1 Economics and Public Policy program at Simmons College. Last year she received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics, and she will earn her Master’s degree in Public Policy this summer. As if she isn’t busy enough, Elsie has been a tutor for our programs over the past 4 years, and is now the lead tutor at two of our sites, Codman Middle School and Tobin. Elsie’s hard work and dedication to T4A is truly appreciated and we wanted to share her inspiring story.
Elsie (left) with her mom at Tobin
1. Tell us about yourself: where are you from, what school do you go to, what do you like to do in your free time?
I live in Washington D.C, but currently I am in Boston working on getting my Master’s degree in Public Policy at Simmons College. I am involved in several extracurricular activities, including the Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project and the Black Student Organization at Simmons. In my free time I love to sing in the gospel choir here at Simmons and back home. I also enjoy watching Netflix and spending as much time with my mom as possible whenever she comes to Boston to visit.
2. What made you want to join Tutors for All and why have you kept returning throughout the years?
Growing up I was always good at helping others with math because I was able to understand concepts quickly and find better ways to teach those concepts to my peers. When I heard about Tutors for All, I thought it was a wonderful program because it gave students the individual attention they needed. This is something that can’t be accomplished in a classroom where students learn differently. I knew this program would be the perfect fit for me and once I started I immediately fell in love.
3. What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Last year I tutored a student at Codman Academy, and earlier this year I saw that same student volunteer to be a tutor for the younger students at Codman Middle School. She had mastered her mathematical skills so much so that she felt confident enough to become a tutor. Just being able to build connections with the students and watch them grow throughout the semester is by far the most rewarding part about my job.
4. What’s your favorite memory while working with Tutors for All?
Our first week back after winter break, I went to Codman Middle School for a tutoring session. Many of the students had gone on a field trip that day so I was expecting them to be drained after a long day and not enthusiastic about tutorial. When they finally arrived for session, all I saw were smiles. The students were go glad to see us tutors and eager to start the semester. This was just a small reminder of why I always decide to come back each year.
5. What are your future career goals?
With my degrees I intend to work with youth in public schools. More specifically, I want to work in direct services and make sure students have all the resources they need to get into college academically prepared, to be successful in college, and to graduate.
6. What have you learned through working for Tutors for All? How will you take what you have learned and use it in your career?
Last year I had a conversation with one of my students who expressed to me that he wouldn’t get accepted into college because he was simply an African-American kid from a low-income family. Having come from the same background, I felt it was my obligation to assure him that if he works hard, he too can go to college and advance in his career despite all odds. This is one of the many reasons I have chosen the career path I intend to take.
7. Do you have any advice for current and future tutors?
Have fun and enjoy it, because if you enjoy it then your students will enjoy it as well. Be patient, be fair, be kind, and make the experience a good one for you and the students.