Last Saturday, my younger daughter paid a visit to me and my wife at Saturday morning's tutoring session of the Latino Student Fund. We have, of course, been telling her about this extremely rewarding program with which we have been working for four years, but since she lives in New York City she has never had the chance to see it in action.
Until last weekend. We had the fortunate opportunity to introduce her to the three young women we have been working with over the time that we have been volunteering. For some reason Sarah had the idea that this activity involved a few kids and adults doing some school work. When she saw the 125 students and their individual tutors gathered in one room busily concentrating on academics she became visibly excited. There is so much going at the National Cathedral School that it is difficult to know where to look.
The main part of the cafeteria is used for the one-on-one tutoring. There is a computer lab set up in the front. Off in an adjacent room the parents are learning English. Upstairs activities may be going on related to the Access Program that helps families learn about and apply to independent and parochial schools. Or there may be a meeting of the Listo Program that teaches participants about going to college including help with scholarships and financial aid. Many Saturdays the older kids are taking a S.A.T. preparation course. The Fund also runs a Scholars Program that provides merit-based assistance with private school tuition and other educational resources.
Margaret Mountjoy and Hana Viswanathan do a showman's job keeping everyone organized and running on schedule. Food and drink is available for the children prior to the start of the two hour session. Educational games are supplied toward the end. The whole thing is nothing less than a miracle.
I'm proud that my wife Michele was just elected to the Board of Directors of the Latino Student Fund. On Wednesday, March 13th we will celebrate her appointment at the group's annual gala at the Organization of American States.