Methma is a Volunteer Representative for Swearer Tutoring and Enrichment in Math and Sciences (STEMS). As a VR, Methma helps plan weekly meetings for the tutors, which are intended to provide Brown tutors with tools to work more effectively, through tutoring skills, knowledge of current education policy, discussions on the role of a tutor in a classroom, or information about the Providence Public School system. She is currently tutoring in a physics class.
Ten I Will Never Forget
Melitzi Torres '15 is a Penn Program for Public Service Intern, a new exchange opportunity in which 1-2 students from Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania spend their summers in West Philadelphia or Providence, working as an intern and conducting research on a local social issue.
If I told you that my placement in West Philadelphia was easy, I would be lying. Taking up the role as an instructor in the heart of West Philly was one of the most challenging experiences I have ever had.
I was an instructor to ten rising college freshmen, all of whom had a “too cool for school” outlook. Engaging them was only part of the battle; they lacked the reading and writing skills required to conduct their group research project, and my supervisors constantly distracted my students.
I began working as assistant teacher in a class of 25 students; in that classroom were 22 rising high school seniors, 3 rising college freshmen, and a lead teacher. My lead teacher and I quickly noted that the work we wanted to cover with the majority (high school seniors) was not applicable to the 3 rising freshmen. After the first week I came up with a proposal: let’s pull the rising college freshmen out of their "mixed" classrooms, into their own classroom and cover material to best prepare them for college. By the second week I was teaching a class of 10 students by myself.
Of course, I hadn’t realized how difficult the task was; I was lesson planning for 10-15 hours a week, teaching for 20, attending meetings for 5 hours, and completing work for my own class at Penn for another 15 hours. The experience, however, is one I will cherish for years to come.
As my first teaching experience, I know that I will never forget my ten students. They drove me incredibly close to a panic attack, but brought me to tears at their final presentation. My students were hard workers who represented an education system that has failed them for so long, a neighborhood that most college students wouldn’t dare walk through, and most importantly- they represented themselves as strong leaders who wanted to fight their way out of poverty. They dreamed of one day owning a home big enough for their entire family, being able to buy their younger relatives the shoes they wanted when they wanted, and simply being able to make their mothers proud.
I’ve clearly become very attached to my students, and for that, I thank the PPPS experience. I had the opportunity to conduct research and create a proposal for the implementation of a program that I’ve designed, and I have been given the opportunity to explore education as a career. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer, and as my students would always tell me - "chill - it’s summertime."
June 20, 2016
June 13, 2016"I think about opening my mouth to call out goodbye, or to salute her in a traditional sign language farewell. Instead, I stand silently and smile."
Sally Hosokawa is a Community Fellow for Writers’ Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that facilitates creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities. She studies literary translation in the Comparative Literature Department.
May 14, 2016“Club teachers understand us,” she says. “Even though they’re older, they’re not that much older, and so they’re like us and we can identify with them and talk to them about our problems.”
Addy is a volunteer with the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring Program (BEAM), a Swearer Center community partnership that facilitates after-school programing activities and mentorship between Brown volunteers and students at William D’Abate Elementary School in the Olneyville neighborhood.
February 22, 2016
Pia is a junior double-concentrating in Education Studies and Comparative Literature. This is her third year with Writers' Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that offers creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities, and her first year as a Swearer Center Community Fellow.
February 19, 2016I was intrigued by the program, but very intimidated by some of the topics. I’ve never been in the position to talk about gender or sexuality or rape culture.
Tiara came into Brown dead set on studying Neuroscience. After a summer or working with the local Planned Parenthood branch and taking health based classes she realized public health was her real calling. She has been volunteering for the SHAPE (Sexual Health Advocacy through Peer Education) program since sophomore year.
February 16, 2016