Back in the fall of 2018, Allison Beach signed up for a service learning course. The course partnered with 826michigan, and Allie started to volunteer as an after-school tutor. Many service learning students provide wonderful service for the semester of their course, and Allie was no exception. The difference with Allie, though, is that she stuck around and continued to support our programs long after the semester ended. We’ve been so lucky to be able to work with Allie as an 826michigan volunteer over the past several years, and her consistency and warmth during this virtual season have made such a positive impact on our work.
From the start for her volunteer work three years ago, our staff observed Allie’s reliability and dedication as a tutor. She showed up for all of her shifts at the Michigan Avenue branch of the Ypsilanti District Library, and always seemed happy to connect with her students. Our staff was also impressed with Allie’s inquisitive spirit. During debriefs after each tutoring session, Allie’s questions showed her commitment to reflection and intentional action. She was engaged, thoughtful, and excited to contribute. Allie has never given less than 110% of her energy and attention to tutoring; instead, she demonstrates her deep joy and ongoing commitment to serving our students through constantly working to improve her own teaching skills.
During the virtual season, Allie’s dependability has added ease and delight to our work. She always arrives at her tutoring sessions on time and ready to serve. Because of her consistency, at the beginning of Virtual Schoolwork Support this fall, Allie was assigned to be a breakout room leader. Since Allie speaks both English and Spanish, we placed her in a room with a student whose family requested a bilingual tutor. Allie’s position as a room leader gave her the option of taking a bigger picture, more supervisory role, but Allie ended up connecting strongly with this student, and she took on a hands-on approach. Through working with her student in both English and Spanish, Allie was able to make connections and add meaning to tutoring sessions. In fact, our staff once overheard Allie’s student mention how they looked forward to working with Allie all week! This student, like many others over the years, benefitted from Allie’s outstanding tutoring approach.
In a year that has been full of so many twists, turns, and inconsistencies, Allie’s steady presence has meant so much to our 826michigan community. We are so grateful for her work, and delighted to continue working with her this summer as a 2021 Spring/Summer intern!