“When students make a change to their study habits or access new resources that make a difference—that makes my day. I love it when they move from ‘I’ll try to I AM doing it!”
Jackie Billups leads the Rainier Scholars Homework Center and Tutoring Service and is also an AmeriCorp Volunteer. Throughout the year, Rainier Scholars offers a free, drop-in tutoring center and 1:1 support for all our students. In numerous cases, it has been a game-changer for scholars.
Many of the students coming in for tutoring help have improved their grades—often by a whole letter grade. “After establishing a strong student/tutor relationship with one sixth grader, I was able to help identify that her biggest challenges were rushing and computational errors. We developed a plan to organize her student time in a way that allows her to identify when she has made an error. Now she is earning a comprehensive grade of B-.”
In a recent student survey, where students were asked, ‘What helps relieve your stress around school?’ a frequent answer was the Homework Center and Miss Jackie.
“A lot of times students don’t ask for help or utilize resources because they feel ashamed of not already having their subject perfected. We encourage them to stop by, ask for help and reinforce the idea that learning is an ongoing process.”
“I support our scholars in their desire to succeed and change the game for themselves and their families through a higher education. It means something to me when a scholar succeeds. I’m proud that the attendance at the center doubled in the last year.”
Why does sixth grader Ashley Silva stop in?
“You can make sure your homework is done right. And you can also get extra help.”
After nearly a full school year tutoring scholars, Jackie has found her calling as a professional.
“I have worked with sometimes stressed and frustrated students. But when those students text me and say, “Miss Jackie—thank you for helping me–I’m passing math now, OR I wanted to give up, but I didn’t because you helped me and you should be a teacher”—I know service is my place.”
Want to volunteer?
The Homework Center and tutoring service at Rainier Scholars is a 100% volunteer run program. We’d welcome your interest!