During the 2017-18 school year we are proud to report we served 295 students -- more than we ever have before. We also provided a combined total of 14,898 hours of tutoring to students thanks to our over 120 committed volunteers. While it becomes easy to think of these numbers as only numbers, there is tremendous value in sharing a story to illustrate the power behind those numbers.
Meet committed volunteer Javier Covarrubias. An Azusa native, Javier has been volunteering at NHH since 2014. During that time he has completed an associate's degree at Citrus College and is now enrolled in a liberal studies program at Azusa Pacific University (APU) with the goal of one day becoming a teacher. In his tenure volunteering at NHH, Javier has consistently displayed an enthusiasm and passion to serve our students. Not only has he gone over and above the proverbial call of duty, he has actively recruited other volunteers through his own sphere of influence. He currently serves on APU’s Center for Student Action team engaging APU students in the mission of NHH day in and day out.
Last semester, he was paired with a struggling third grade student Aaron.* Like many other students enrolled in NHH, Aaron has many extra needs. He is low academically, especially in reading, comes from a troubled home, and often acts out. We tried pairing Aaron with several different volunteers, but it was never a good fit. However, when Javier began working with Aaron we immediately noticed a change in him. Javier had the right amount of patience and motivation that Aaron needed to help him do his work.
This summer Aaron’s mom enrolled him our summer program -- “Reading Rockets.” He was assigned with a tutor to read a chapter book throughout the summer and do comprehension activities. Our staff noticed Aaron not participating and having a hard time the first week. This concerned everyone since we knew Javier was helping out in another session. Javier heard about Aaron’s struggles during summer and wanted to act. He changed his schedule around so he could tutor Aaron. We appreciate Javier's willingness and dedication to really invest in kids like Aaron.
For many of the 295 students we served during the 2016-17 school year, the only Neighborhood Homework House they know is their faithful volunteer. In most cases, that volunteer is supported by our staff team but without question, our capacity to reach as many at-risk Azusa families is greatly multiplied by the dedication of volunteers like Javier.