Team Spotlight Nov 17

The Path to Great Futures Team Spotlight: Teen Tutors

For the past two years, 92% of Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor seniors graduated from high school. Much of that success is attributed to the Teen Center tutors helping members attending high school throughout northern Berrien County improve academically.

“Tutoring sells,” says John Sams, Teen Center Unit Director. “Members are looking for help understanding classroom topics, completing homework, and writing college admission essays. Tutors work individually with teens, establishing trust and encouraging members to do their best. They really do attract teens to come to the Teen Center, helping to explain our increasing daily attendance and high rate of high school graduation.”
The Clubs are committed to providing all members every available resource to support their academic success goals. Teen Center tutors are an investment that pays dividends for members and the Club. The program is an effective way to help students improve their academic skills, stay in school, and graduate from high school, as well as to encourage frequent attendance at the Clubs.

Dottie Gietler, a retired teacher, has been tutoring at the Teen Center for four years. During that time, she has seen Club members like Stacey and Jaylen mature, become more confident, and discover themselves and a plan for their futures. “I like watching these kids grow and teaching them the skills they need to become successful.”  

Balancing demanding courses, preparing for college admissions tests, extracurricular activities and looming college applications, even the most talented high school students extra help.
Club member Tamia C. is president of the Benton Harbor High School Robotics Team and is a Coach of the FIRST Lego League. As a high school junior, Tamia is focused on graduating with a plan. Tamia said “Working with the tutors at the Teen Center has been a tremendous help and I’ve learned about my interests to become an engineer.”

Tutor Jasmine Long, a current college student majoring in business administration, has also seen many members change and flourish during her two years with the Club’s tutoring program. In addition to academic tutoring, Jasmine has enjoyed the opportunity to get to know members on other levels. “I like working with the kids one-on-one. It gives them the chance to have another outlet, not just to talk about school, but about their lives and any challenges they face.” Jasmine’s mentoring is having a real impact and teens like Mariah are blossoming as a result. “When I first met Mariah, she was incredibly shy. Last year, we worked together on a poem she wrote and delivered at a Club event. That is something she never through she would do before.”

“Every member won’t go to a four-year university, but every single Club member will graduate high school with a plan,” says John Sams. “Our tutors assure that happens and that we put all members on their path to their Great Futures.”

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