November 2010 – Will Purves

November 1, 2010 | 826 Blog Post

Will Purves!

Will Purves!

Will Purves has been around so long, we can’t even really remember when he started. It seems, hazily, as though he tutored for a while, and then, certainly, we clearly remember him teaching a multi-session workshop called Fantasy Landscapes, wherein students made maps of magical lands and then wrote stories about them. But first off, we’d like to list what can only be referred to as a “very impressive” bullet-pointed list of his education:

  • Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology
  • Masters of Science in Geography
  • Graduate Certificate in Gaming and Simulation (no idea what this is but it sounds AWESOME)
  • Aaaand he also completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Urban, Technological, and Environmental Planning

Impressive, right?

Furthermore, he’s got a LONG history of being an educator. He’s taught at Emerson School and Summers Knoll (where he was also the Head of School for several years). He’s got his own business, Raven Education Works, wherein he offers tutoring, test prep, and writing services.

Just the kind of volunteer we SUPER LOVE, as I’m sure you can well imagine.

This fall, Will taught an incredible ACT prep workshop for us (with pizza, no less!). He’s also host of the erroneously titled (our fault, not his) WOOW, aka One-on-One Wednesday Test Prep. Every Wednesday, he holds appointments during our tutoring program that, well, the title pretty much already told you what they are. What it means is this: Free, one-on-one, high quality test prep for area teens. And that, my friends, is AWESOME.

When we asked Program Coordinator Catherine Calabro why Will deserves the honor of being Volunteer of the Month, she very quickly gchatted us this:

  1. He has offered at least one or more than one amazing and very high quality college-prep workshop to our students every semester for the last year!
  2. He brainstormed, created, and implemented the Wednesdays One-on-One with Will ACT/SAT/PSAT test prep tutoring sessions (this involved an afternoon of learning google calendar with me at his side, asking him to re-explain or test something for me, which he always did with patience and kindness!)
  3. He plans individual or group follow-up sessions for any of his test-prep or college-essay prep students who have missed a class or need additional help!
  4. His workshop plans are incredibly thorough, and he tries to give students as much one-on-one attention as he can with the help of other volunteer facilitators!
  5. He went to get a veggie sub for one such volunteer when the pizza ran out at one such workshop!
  6. He welcomed me very thoughtfully to my new position!
  7. He always looks for ways to improve on his workshops, and carefully considers volunteer and student feedback!
  8. I asked him to brainstorm a workshop for the Winter Semester and in a few days, he proposed a fabulous workshop for high school juniors to help them prepare for the future in Ypsilanti!
  9. He helps get the word out to our students about Scholar Match!

When we say “quickly,” she rattled this list off so fast, we’re half-inclined to think she has a list going somewhere on her computer of the reasons why we like Will so much. And this, while a bit creepy, would be totally valid.

We would also like to step in and make it an even 10:

  1. He has the EXACT SAME VOICE as volunteer, kickball team member, and Colby owner Blaine Roderique, and that’s just kind of neat.

So! Will! Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do for us! You’re the best! We’ll leave you with this thought: One facilitator said of Will’s recent Super-Amazing College Essay Workshop, “College prep is an area of concern for students and the more avenues of assistance for students…makes a tremendous difference. I just want to say congrats on devising this workshop, and I look forward to others with 826!”

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