20 years of tutoring = 20 years of joy

Literacy tutor John Comer has been at it awhile. Almost 20 years in fact. When John and his wife, Leslie, relocated to Modesto from the Bay Area, John was looking for volunteer opportunities. “Hey,” he said to himself, “I’m an educated guy… I’ll bet I could share my knowledge and experience with others.”
Indeed, John, recently retired from a 40-year career as a graphic artist, had already tried his hand at tutoring, working with Afghani and Chinese immigrants, helping them to assimilate into our culture by working with them to improve their English skills.

 John Comer and student

John came to LearningQuest – then Stanislaus Literacy Centers – in 2000 and has worked with a number of adult students over the years. One of his former students, he recalls, telephoned him recently to say hello. “That meant a lot to me,” he says. “I find that with tutoring, friendships often develop.” He is currently working with Ruben, a grandfather, who has always struggled with reading. One of nine children, Ruben was always good with his hands, excelling in woodshop and other manual tasks, but reading was always difficult. “John takes his time with me,” says Ruben. “He is very patient and understands me.”

Although John, now a young 85, has been tutoring for almost two decades, he finds that students are generally the same, at least in their desire to learn.. Almost without exception, he says, they are committed, eager, and willing to work hard to achieve their goals.

For John, a Korean veteran who also volunteers with his church in outreach and community service work, the main goal in working with students, aside from improving their literacy skills, is to help them be confident and productive citizens. “I ask myself, how can I help this student feel like an accepted member of our community,” he says. This is especially important, he says, with students who are new to our country and learning to navigate social and cultural obstacles on their way toward assimilation.

As with many LearningQuest tutors, learning is a two-way street. “I am gaining as much as my students,” says John, who likes to learn new things. “By teaching them, I am learning more about the world.”

Never too late to realize the dream of college

Bob tutoring Erica       Bob and student Erica

Love brought Erica Gomez to the U.S. 16 years ago. Her childhood sweetheart had immigrated to California and he missed her terribly. A high school graduate in her hometown of Medallin, Colombia, Erica worked in a bank.  But she believed in her future husband and a more prosperous future so she followed him and they were married. Now 42 and with two children, Erica is a student at LearningQuest’s Adult Literacy program. (Read more link here)…

Erica works with tutor, Robert Dowd,to improve her English so she can enroll in Child Development courses at Modesto Junior College to pursue her goal of becoming a teacher and work with autistic children.

She learned about the literacy program from a friend. “It’s a good program,” she said. “The people – Natalie and the staff  – are very helpful, and my tutor understands and encourages me.” One challenge Erica faces is in practicing her English skills. As often happens with female students, her family – who all are bilingual and speak English well – do not encourage Erica to speak English at home. She enrolled at non-credit ESL classes at MJC where she has more opportunities to practice her English.

“Erica is determined to learn and succeed,” says Dowd, who is also helping Erica to navigate the educational system in her native Colombia in hopes of having her high school diploma transferred and recognized by MJC. However, if that doesn’t work, Erica has the option of attending LearningQuest’s HSE program, which offers High School Equivalency preparation in both English and Spanish.

Love and determination: an unstoppable combination, at least where Erica is concerned.

Student follow her heart and her dreams

 

Bob and student Erica

 

Love brought Erica Gomez to the U.S. 16 years ago. Her childhood sweetheart had immigrated to California and he missed her terribly. A high school graduate in her hometown of Medallin, Colombia, Erica worked in a bank.  But she believed in her future husband and a more prosperous future so she followed him and they were married. Now 42 and with two children, Erica is a student at LearningQuest’s Adult Literacy program. (Read more link here)…

Erica works with tutor, Robert Dowd,to improve her English so she can enroll in Child Development courses at Modesto Junior College to pursue her goal of becoming a teacher and work with autistic children.

 

Bob tutoring Erica

She learned about the literacy program from a friend. “It’s a good program,” she said. “The people – Natalie and the staff  – are very helpful, and my tutor understands and encourages me.” One challenge Erica faces is in practicing her English skills. As often happens with female students, her family – who all are bilingual and speak English well – do not encourage Erica to speak English at home. She enrolled at non-credit ESL classes at MJC where she has more opportunities to practice her English.

“Erica is determined to learn and succeed,” says Dowd, who is also helping Erica to navigate the educational system in her native Colombia in hopes of having her high school diploma transferred and recognized by MJC. However, if that doesn’t work, Erica has the option of attending LearningQuest’s HSE program, which offers High School Equivalency preparation in both English and Spanish.

Erica

Love and determination: an unstoppable combination, at least where Erica is concerned.