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AHC Needs More Teen Tutors

by ARLnow.com January 25, 2011 at 8:45 am 2,363 38 Comments

Local affordable housing outfit AHC is “in serious need” of teen tutors.

AHC has been running its teen tutoring program for more than 15 years. Tutors act as a teacher, mentor and role model for at-risk middle school and high school students who live in AHC communities. They work one-on-one with the teens, devoting at least an hour and a half per week.

“AHC’s Teen Tutoring program is growing, which is wonderful, but as the second half of the school year gets underway, we need more volunteers to work with middle and high school teenagers, particularly at Berkeley Apartments (2900 South Glebe Road),” AHC spokeswoman Celia Slater wrote in an email. “Now that the third quarter is starting, students are more and more interested in working hard to get good grades for the year. Volunteers work closely with one student for about an hour and a half one evening a week, which helps build strong mentoring relationships.”

The organization recently produced a short public service announcement (below) about its work with at-risk teens.

If you’re interested in donating your time and tutoring talents, email Jennifer Cavaliere at [email protected], or call 703-486-0626 x154.

  • Hmmm….

    Do you have to do it where they live? I’d consider tutoring, but I’m not hauling myself way down there. Can you meet at a Starbucks or somewhere on a Sunday afternoon?

    • DouroDouro

      They have a couple of different community centers around Arlington, so I’m sure you could find one that’s closer to you. It’s an after-school (weekday evening) program, so I don’t think they do weekends.

      • Hmmm….

        That’s too bad. I couldn’t do it weeknights, but I could on weekends. I wonder why it has to be after school only. If someone is volunteering their time, you’d think they could be flexible.

        • GeorgeOrwell

          Given that it is for kids, and they are the priority, my educated guess is that it is a pretty structured program. Structure is good for kids.

          • Hmmm….

            Well, if they need more tutors, I’m just saying they would probably get more if they could let people volunteer on the weekend. A lot of us just can’t do weeknights because of work/family/other commitments. Or just don’t feel like it after 8/9 hours of work.

            If they get enough tutors by doing weeknights only, then great. But they wouldn’t be asking for more tutors if that were the case.

        • mehoo

          Solution – tutor a rich kid whose private car service can deliver him or her to Starbucks for you, and buy your carmel machiatto.

          • Hmmm….

            God, people are such jerks on this site. Starbucks was just one idea. It could be a library. Whatever. The point is, if you’re short of volunteers, maybe consider being more flexible as to when/where people can volunteer.

          • GeorgeOrwell

            NO NO NO.
            Hmmmm — you have it ALL wrong.

            You tutor young kids because you care about your community and the future. YOU are the adult and YOU can change YOUR schedule a tad to contribute to society. Can’t you?

            You need to look at a mirror and see who is a JERK. FIRST CLASS for you.

            it is the KIDS who need the help. They are at-risk. GO HELP THEM. Do it because THEY NEED IT, not because it is convenient for YOU.

            And next time you are at Starbucks, or “whatever”, read up on the incredible man we just lost who never stopped giving…

          • mehoo

            It’s not the Starbucks that set me off, it was the comment about “hauling yourself” all the way down there. But yeah, I was harsh, especially to a potential do-gooder. My apologies.

          • Hmmm…

            Mehoo: Thanks. That took some class. As to “haul myself,” that location is in fact a real ordeal for me to get to.

            Orwell: Self-righteousness comes so easily for you, huh?

            I’m willing to devote part of my weekend to tutoring, but that’s not good enough? I’m supposed to bend over backwards beyond the contribution of time/energy tutoring requires in the first place, just so that the kid doesn’t even have to leave his/her home?

            Gimme a break. If Abe Lincoln could walk 10 miles to borrow a book, then these kids can learn the same life lesson and, horror of horrors, take Metro to meet their tutor–same as the tutor would be doing to meet them. If people are willing to give up their personal time, for free, to help these kids, then it’s not too much to ask to be met halfway, literally and figuratively.

            I actually bet a lot of the kids would be up for meeting on the weekend, at a public place of convenience to both people.

          • GeorgeOrwell

            Hmmmm, sorry, can you hear me down there? You keep digging your hole deeper.
            Do the kids a favor, DO NOT VOLUNTEER. They don’t want to hear about your ordeal getting there.
            Your use of “hauling” is bizarre and “self-righteous” is wrong. I think you meant to say you are self-absorbed, right?
            Again, if you do it, do it for the kids, not because it has been delivered to YOU on a silver platter.

  • suzy

    I’ve been volunteering as a tutor for AHC since September, and it is more fun than work. The kids are very sweet, and mostly well behaved! And you will remember more from school than you think, so helping them with homework is not daunting.
    I volunteer at the Gates of Ballston, which is walking distance from the metro – there are several locations throughout Arlington where one can tutor. AHC is an all-in-one program, serving each of these distinct communities. The commitment for tutors is one night a week, from 6-7:30.
    The directors are very organized, and keep tutors and kids well informed. So, if you’ve made a resolution to volunteer more in 2011 – please consider tutoring for AHC!

    • Raika


      Are there any spots left at Gates of Ballston? I tried to volunteer the last time AHC asked for help here, but Gates did not need any more help and it is the only location I can get to in time from work. Thanks!

      • Hmmm…

        Raika, how selfish of you to request a location convenient to work! Don’t you care about these kids? Why, according to others here, you should be willing to go whenever they need you, wherever they need you! Better if you had never spoken up with any interest in volunteering than to suggest your precious job be accommodated.

        (For the dense among us: I jest.)

        • mehoo

          Yeah, but Raika didn’t say “I’m not hauling myself all the way down there.”

          🙂 It was a poor choice of words on your part, that’s all.

      • suzy

        Dear Raika;
        I think it is very night-dependent – some weeknights they are more in need than others. Tuesdays, for example, there are usually many tutors available already. Thank you so much for looking into it! Please contact AHC again and see if there is a spot and time that will work for you and them. It is definitely a commitment, every week, of my time and energy, but so rewarding.

        • Raika

          Thanks Suzy, I can do any night, but the last time I spoke with them they said they only did tutoring there on Tuesdays – is that not correct? In any case, I’ll call them again. I used to coach high school rowing 6 days a week (I’ve moved and changed jobs so I just can’t get there in time anymore), and I’d really like to start volunteerings again.

  • CourthouseGuy

    I am currently in this porgram, tutoring at the Courthouse site. it is a great experience and I encourage others to join.

  • KalashniKEV

    Props to those who already volunteer, but if they offered a car tax relief in exchange for participation in the program, I think it could be incredibly successful. I would also expand the scope from just doing math and science homework to more of a “seminar” that would help them dial in on perhaps what they want to major in when they get to college.

    Just imagine what you could do for a young person if they could have simply one hour a week (for one semester) of a successful Executives time (after work on a weeknight). It would teach them more than algebra, but the habits necessary to succeed!

    • FrenchyB

      Car tax relief? How about just volunteering because it helps someone else?

      • GeorgeOrwell

        yeah, people want a tax break AND for the kids to come their house in 22207 when it is convenient for the tutor to be available and have drunk their coffee.

        • ClarendonKing

          22201 is way more prestigious. And no, I don’t want to volunteer at all. In fact I’d much prefer it if we stopped doing affordable housing so the riff-raff can move back to DC or prince George’s county.

          • mehoo

            The line between satire and reality is no longer clear.

          • KalashniKEV


    • mehoo

      “Props to those who already volunteer…”

      But Kev, they’re just rewarding these kids for their bad decisions! Such a liberal you are.

    • KalashniKEV

      FrenchyB- Because there needs to be some motivation… and the car tax needs to go away.

      mehoo- Think about it seriously for a moment… a block of time one evening on the bosses calendar for a young person to come in and talk Goals and Strategy for their LIFE! For a the cost of a few basically ill-gotten dollars, the county could exploit it’s number one resource (successful people!) and create relationships that would last a lifetime. I bet some of them could even walk on to Real Jobs after college (if they cleared the right gates) instead of becoming $15/hr Yoga instructors looking to bag a man on the make…

      • mehoo

        But this is charity, Kev! It only encourages dependence! You shouldn’t be responsible for other people!

        Glad you’re endorsing serious thought though.

        • KalashniKEV

          It’s not charity if it’s incentiveized… if it was I wouldn’t support it! 🙂

          • mehoo

            Exactly, Kev. You don’t do anything for anyone but yourself. And you think this program shouldn’t exist, because it’s full of people doing something for others with no incentive. Just making sure that’s clear.

          • KalashniKEV

            Whatever, it’s probably full of creeps hitting on underage girls…

          • mehoo

            Fantastic, Kev! You’re having a great day.

      • DouroDouro

        Motivation? Seriously? How about the satisifaction of doing something for someone other than yourself…

  • Katie

    I’m also a tutor. It’s a great experience. I’ll add that they’re not really “at-risk” unless that means “of not graduating.”

  • From AHC: Many thanks to everyone’s comments about AHC’s programs. We are a nonprofit, affordable housing organization here in Arlington and really appreciate all our wonderful volunteers. Our students come from low-income families whose parents are often working several jobs. Tutors do more than help with homework, they are also role models and mentors who help teens make positive choices about school and careers. The program includes visits to colleges, presentations from volunteers on careers, field trips, study skill sessions and more. We’re proud of our successful graduation rate and welcome volunteers who are interested in making a difference in young peoples’ lives.

    • local

      Thanks for all you and the volunteers do, Celia, and don’t let the snarky comments distract you.

  • Courthouse resident

    It would have been helpful to have a better description of who AHC is in this article. I googled them to get more info, but it would have been nice to include a sentence or two in the article itself. Just a thought.

  • I’d like a teen tutor myself.

  • MC

    Kudos to the volunteers and others who take the extra effort. This is real social capital in our community, supported by voluntary interest.


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