BY VANA BABIKIAN
HOLLYWOOD—The Armenian Youth Federation Hollywood “Musa Ler” Chapter has initiated a tutoring program at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School to provide a unique opportunity to enhance the learning experience of the Armenian youth from grades 1-8, while simultaneously creating job opportunities for upperclassmen. The Director of the program, Sarkis Yeretsian, welcomed me and my fellow classmates with open arms and helped us create an everlasting bond with the younger students.
Although the tutoring program is in its beginning stages, it has made tremendous progress over the course of three months and has helped multiple students develop their grades, participation skills, and most importantly build confidence in themselves. We tutors have helped many children, and in the future, hope to turn many more students into scholars. Our goal is to create a comfortable atmosphere where the students can thrive and express themselves with ease.
I remember when I was younger I would have difficulties in some of my classes, specifically math. Being too embarrassed to reach out for help, I personally understand the significant role tutors have in creating a learning environment where students not only feel comfortable but are also encouraged to ask questions and learn.
When the idea of a tutoring program was introduced, my classmates and I jumped at the chance to help guide younger students while also learning the importance and value of holding a job. This opportunity was perfect for us because as high school students, we know how difficult the workload can get and what it feels like to fall behind in class and be too embarrassed to ask for help. This was our chance to take a step into the real world and make a difference.
As tutors, we do not see this as a job but rather an opportunity to enhance the minds of the youth and help them overcome obstacles they are facing now and in the future. One tutor, Narek Koucherian says, “There are days when Sarkis tells me my shift is over but I kindly ask him to wait a few more minutes because I do not want my student to leave without fully understanding the topic at hand.” These children are our number one priority and we stop at nothing to make certain they receive the education they deserve. This process has allowed me to understand the vital role teachers have in the lives of students and has led me to want to come back to Pilibos in the future and continue the opportunity the AYF’s tutoring program has given me.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and the most influential Armenian- American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, education and cultural awareness among Armenian-American youth.