New York Cares Math Tutors Equal Success

Though many would say the odds are against them, students in New York Cares’ math tutoring program continue to exceed expectations.
The students, who range in age from 18 to 30 years old, are studying for careers in the medical field. The catch? Most of them only possess math skills equivalent to a fourth grade student when they enter the program.
“One of my students in the last session was working two part-time jobs with nine to twelve hour shifts, and she had a one-year old child at home,” said project leader Melissa Grober. “She was exhausted when she came to math tutoring, but I kept telling her that it would be worth it in the end.” Grober was right.
“She struggled at first, but she made it to the end and started college classes in June.”
Grober’s story is just one of the many testimonies of success from this thriving program. Every week, volunteer teams from HandsOn Network affiliate New York Cares head to Citizen’s Advice Bureau in the Bronx to teach math to the students. After attending tutoring sessions for eight weeks, the students’ math abilities are raised to a ninth-grade level. More importantly, they have new confidence in their own abilities and a team of supporters standing behind them.
Two groups of tutors work with the students on Mondays and Thursdays for eight weeks. The tutors teach about fractions, percentages, medical measurements and algebra. Each tutor pairs up with an individual student so that the lessons can be individualized and progress at a pace that is comfortable pace for each student. The one-on-one teaching style also facilitates relationship building.
At the conclusion of the eight weeks, the students take a state exam that tests their skills and mathematical knowledge. If they pass, Citizen’s Advice Bureau pays for them to attend Pharmaceutical Technician training classes and other related courses at nearby Lehman College.
“I love volunteering for this project. The students are wonderful,” one tutor said.  
The New York Cares tutoring program continues to be successful in two forms: producing flourishing graduates of the program and volunteers who are eager to return for the next session.