Let’s start with something from our (former) education director, Erin: “Xanthe … seriously, ever since Xanthe came to tutoring back in the fall of 2006, I immediately took a deep breath and was able to relax. She has been the biggest support to me during tutoring and beyond by being able to handle any and all students, even the most trying ones, by always being friendly and open and understanding and kind.”
Well put. And, really, Erin owes her. When Erin went on maternity leave last year, Xanthe stepped into the role of point person. Even though she’s on the shy side, and was (maybe) a bit apprehensive, she immediately agreed to do it because she knew we needed her. Sure, she’s reliable, and sure, she’s given us hours and hours of her time, but what makes her an even bigger asset to us in the lab is her patience, and this really came out when she became our point person. She’s unshakable. She never gets frustrated, and she’s always willing to stay as long as needed to help a student.
In addition to rocking our tutoring program, Xanthe is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to young adult literature and is fabulously talented at finding books for boys, which is, if you didn’t know, pretty close to the hardest thing in the world. During summer months, she continues to help us with whatever arises: lending a hand at drop-in writing, sitting at the art-fair booth, schlepping boxes, helping with fundraisers and events, and attending all of them!
Not only has she made a long term commitment to 826michigan students, she’s done it in a kind of quiet, unproud way that is really cool. She is so humble, and so not a “Hey! Look what I just did!” kind of person that, in some ways, it would be easy to overlook her massive contribution to us. But we would be lost without her: she helps new tutors learn the ropes; she helps introduce students to one another; she’s not afraid of math homework; and she has an awesome T-shirt collection.
Basically, the thing we love most about Xanthe (and there are a lot of them), is that she’s just a huge advocate for kids, for books, for writing, and for learning. Thanks, Xanthe, and please don’t ever leave us.