AmeriCorps Story: Chelsea Cornewell

Categories: Buford,Guest post,TUTORING at area schools

Chelsea Cornwell has been serving as an Americorps member with us for the last two years. We are grateful to have her. Here in the office, she is always upbeat and eager to do her best, no matter how great or small the task at hand–from calling families, to cleaning dishes, to putting together display boards. She’s like a little ray of sunshine. Read below to hear how our families are able to benefit from her positive attitude and commitment to our programs:

Allison* is a 7th grade student who did not want to participate in the tutoring program at the beginning of the school year. She skipped the first couple of tutoring days but eventually her grandmother and I were able to convince her to give tutoring a try. I acknowledged that she did not want to come to tutoring but reminded her that we had to honor her grandmother’s wishes and suggested she find a positive aspect to tutoring since she had to be there anyway.

She had a negative attitude for the first two times she came, making it difficult for her tutor to work with her. I reinforced to Allison how happy I was that she came to tutoring each day and I continued to I support her tutor by checking in with her and following up with a few emails. She was still resistant, but allowed her tutor to help her with her homework. By the end of the first semester, she had formed a nice relationship with her tutor and managed to pull up 3 of her grades by an entire letter grade from the first quarter to the second quarter.

On her first day back to tutoring for the spring semester, she came right up to me and asked where her tutor was. She settled into tutoring very quickly and had a productive tutoring session. I am very proud of her willingness to change her mind about tutoring and of the hard work she has put into her grades this year. She reminds me that it is not my place to give up on a student, no matter how difficult they might be.

– Chelsea

*names have been changed