Monthly Archives: March 2016

Tutors for All Receives NobleCause Grant for Volunteerism

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March 24rd, 2016, Boston – Tutors for All has received a $6,500 grant through NobleCause, a national grant competition mobilizing volunteers to address the greatest challenges facing their local communities. Each semester, Tutors for All recruits 30-40 volunteers to become tutors and program coordinators for various tutorial programs throughout Boston. As an incentive to recruit volunteers, the organization offers all volunteers free Charlie Cards to make their traveling easier as they commute to the different sites. With this grant, Tutors for All will be able to continue to offer their volunteers free Charlie Cards, a small token to thank them for their outstanding work.

“For ten years Tutors for All has relied on volunteers to provide crucial instruction of our kids,” said Mark Destler, Executive Director of Tutors for All. “The NobleCause grant allows us to give these volunteers the appreciation and support they deserve.”

$1,000,000 in total has been distributed to various schools and nonprofits through the NobleCause grant competition, with one hundred organizations awarded $6,500 grants. All grant recipients demonstrated a remarkable ability to raise community awareness, foster partnerships, and cultivate leaders who take action.

“We set out to encourage communities throughout the country to tell us their big, sustainable ideas to inspire quality volunteerism,” said Wesley Barnett, managing partner for TreeTop Commons and NobleHour. “By organizing volunteers to address local concerns, NobleCause award recipients are defining social responsibility right in their own communities.”

The NobleCause grant is made possible by the GiveWell Community Foundation and organized by NobleHour, a volunteer management tool that promotes a culture of civic engagement and charts meaningful acts of goodness. For more than a decade, NobleHour has been connecting and equipping thousands of schools, non-profit agencies, and organizations to shape well-rounded students and service leaders, build better communities, and measure their collective impact. To learn more, visit NobleHour.com.

Coordinator Spotlight: Sookyung Kim

2013-08-06_19.54.22-1Sookyung started working for Tutors for All over two years ago as a tutor at the MGH Youth Scholars program. She has always been dedicated to helping our students, first a volunteer tutor, then as a lead tutor last semester, and now as the MGH Program Coordinator. We talked with her to learn more about her background and what she’s taken away from her T4A experience.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am originally from South Korea, and came to the states after graduating from high school. Once I arrived I studied English at a language school in Boston for 9 months. Then, I continue studying at a local community college for a year and a half. After that, I  transferred to UMass Amherst to finish my undergraduate degree. When I’m not studying, I love to practice Kendo, a Japanese sword-fighting martial art.

2. How did you hear about Tutors for All?
After graduation, I got a job as a research technician at Mass General Hospital. I started looking for local volunteer opportunities around the hospital, and that’s when I heard about the MGH Youth Scholars program. I have always been interested in teaching so I decided to join T4A. I remember on my first day at the job, I showed up extremely over-dressed and in heels – I was so embarrassed!

3. What is the best part about working for Tutors for All?
The best part of my job is getting to know the students over the semester. MGH Youth Scholars program fosters a relationship with students over the course of a semester not only as a tutor to a student but also as a coach and scholar. It’s very rewarding when I know I’m able to support my students and guide them in the direction that I believe is best for them. Not only can you see how much they grow and develop stronger academic skills, but I see myself growing with the experience as well. For example, when two of my students Monica and Dorene found out they aced their final exam in spite of the struggles they had at the beginning of the semester, it not only strengthened their belief that we can make a change when we put in the effort, but also reminded me of how much I feel personally connected to the students, excited for them, and proud of their continual work. In addition, most of my students go out of their way to thank me for the academic help and support I provide them. For example, coaches and scholars know when the last day for us to be together as a part of Tutors for All at MGH program is, and Chang Liu came to our session to personally thank me even though he had other commitments for that day.

4. What plans do you have next?
I have worked for a while at a basic academic laboratory and now I am applying to MD/PhD programs, a training program for those interested in becoming a physician scientist. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to do research, but work with patients as well. During the application process I was asked to list any meaningful activities I do, and T4A was the first thing that came to my mind!

5. How will you take what you have learned working for T4A into your future career?
When I’m doing research, I often find many mistakes in my experiments. These mistakes are always difficult to find, so you have to keep trying until you’re able to get some success. By working for T4A, I have gained so much positive energy from helping my students. That energy pushes me forward in my research and helps me stay positive. I could also see myself having the same dynamics I do now with my students as I will with my patients when I become a physician scientist, getting motivated as I witness positive changes I make in my patients and staying positive despite hurdles I am most likely confront during my research.