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FridayApril 2011

Aja Alexander!

Aja Alexander!

The picture says it all. In a perfect world, on the perfect day, nine Aja Alexanders would walk into Ypsilanti Middle School. Those nine Ajas, along with our other stellar Wednesday tutors, would ensure that every single student who comes to tutoring is getting the absolute best one-on-one help imaginable. We are thrilled to honor one of our very favorite tutors with the illustrious title of Volunteer of the Month.

Aja came to 826michigan through the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at EMU. She began tutoring with us at Ypsilanti Middle School at the very beginning of the fall. It is quite fair to say that at the time she began volunteering for us, things at YMS were a bit chaotic. We were in a new room (the cafeteria, which is quite large and added a new element of “chasing” to our program), our tutor numbers were low, and our student numbers were high. There were issues.

In our minds, that’s a very important fact. Because, at that time, tutoring at YMS was incredibly challenging, and it would have been remarkably easy for a new tutor to come once or twice, and then disappear (which did indeed happen). But not Aja. She showed up every week, always reliable and almost inhumanly calm. She cannot be rattled. She was, in a word, the *perfect* YMS tutor.

Aja started in September and has tutored consistently ever since on Wednesday afternoons. We love Aja because she is calm, confident, and caring. She approaches any subject without fear, which is, to put it mildly, very important to middle school homework (which contains words like “slope” and “domain” and the introduction of tricky concepts like negative numbers).

Best of all, our students admire her greatly. They are always happy to see her, and excited to work with her. (Those of you with experience with middle schoolers know how very rare this can be.) Furthermore, Aja is great at communicating with us about when we can expect her, but it’s a rare Wednesday at YMS when she isn’t there.

Aja, thank you so much for all your kindness and help this year! You are a big part of the reason the program at YMS has grown and blossomed so much, and also a big part of why more middle schoolers than ever in Ypsilanti are getting their math homework done (and understanding it). We appreciate you greatly, and so do our students. Thank you!

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