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11.11.2020

Youth & Volunteer Tutor: ‘We’re Both Learning from Each Other’

By Mia, Graduation Success Participant & Maria, Volunteer Tutor

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Mia and Maria have been working together since 1908…just kidding. We’ve been working together for about six months.

The first time we met, we were both super anxious, because we are different people and we didn’t know each other. Around the fourth tutoring session, we knew each other a bit more. We didn’t jump right into the academics. Mia thinks it really helped to establish a relationship first, because she got to know Maria a bit better and did not feel like she was being judged.

The summer went by so fast. We read about a famous social influencer on the app TikTok, earning Maria a few cool points. Mia is interested in this influencer because she is a very talented dancer, she lets people know what’s going on in the world, and she is supportive of big ideas like global warming and Black Lives Matter movements.

One of the coolest experiences for Maria is watching Mia take charge of her education by advocating for what matters to her. It’s really inspiring to watch a young leader like Mia advocate for herself and others. We’re both learning from each other. That’s what is so special about our growing relationship.

Mia recently introduced Maria to a language app called Duolingo. So, we’re both learning Spanish through the app and enjoying the experience. Learning Spanish has taught us the importance of knowing our heritage and background. Maria hopes other educators will add language as a tool for professional development and personal growth. Mia taught Maria the importance of this work.

In a very non-traditional sense, the tutoring experience has been rewarding in so many ways. Maria can’t wait to learn more about Mia and her likes and dislikes, and watch her grow into an independent, strong woman. It’s an honor for Maria to tutor Mia.

If you are looking for a great way to engage with youth in the community, please email volunteer@treehouseforkids.org.

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About the Author

Mia is a participant in our Graduation Success program, which serves Washington state youth who have experienced foster care. On Mia’s free time, she likes to do photoshoots and make videos on TikTok. She now holds about 60 followers on the app.

Maria Jacob is one of our volunteer tutors. On Maria’s free time, she likes to hike, camp and garden with friends and family.


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