“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
— Lao Tzu
My thousand-mile journey with Teens Tutor Teens began with a single step — saying “yes” to a friend who asked me to join her new chapter at a tutoring organization.
I said “yes” to my friend, Sumana Hiremath, former President of the California chapter, with the intention of volunteering and bettering my community, but it simultaneously ended up becoming a way for me to connect with people from my school and larger community during an isolating period of my life–the first year of the pandemic. From the chapter meetings twice a month to my tutoring sessions twice a week, I not only learned how to collaborate with others without being physically present with them, but I also formed new and lasting friendships with other tutors in TTT.
My first tutee from TTT approached me when she was struggling in algebra class. She had a D in the class, and I enthusiastically agreed to work with her. We worked together over the course of the year on different concepts and subjects within algebra. We spent hours and hours a week on homework and practice problems for her upcoming tests. Slowly but surely, her confidence and grades improved. I will never forget the ecstatic email I received from her mom at the end of the year: “GIRL!!!! Did she tell you she got a B in Math?????? THANK YOU”. Her mom’s email brought a smile to my face, and it made me reflect on the impact I had made on her daughter that year.
In my junior year, I was selected to become the Vice President of the California chapter, which allowed me to experience a different dimension of responsibility within TTT. As VP, I started off by learning how to lead monthly meetings and help keep all tutors on track for monthly volunteer hour goals. One initiative that I led in this role was increasing our social media output significantly. I directed different members of our chapter to assist in making social media posts that we could strategically post in order to increase our outreach to other teenagers on social media. This role gave me a hint of new responsibilities while still balancing tutoring and other commitments on the side, which ultimately led me to becoming an executive.
At the end of my junior year, I was immensely grateful to be selected as the new COO of TTT, which allowed me to develop my leadership skills in a new way. I started to work with other executives and Gabby to incorporate new chapters and help our current chapters meet different goals throughout the year. The unique and ever-evolving roles I have had at Teens Tutor Teens have taught me to always be adaptable, hard-working, and focused on the task at hand. I was always a goal-oriented leader, but my experience at TTT has expanded my ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and goals while always maintaining a positive relationship with my collaborators and creating a cooperative environment.