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Issue of Importance - Volunteering with a 5th grader named Cedric


Arman 2 / 2  
Nov 28, 2010   #1
"Arman, you need to start volunteering soon" my mom declared. "Fine" I sighed; well aware I needed volunteer hours for National Honor Society. Quite honestly, the only reason I ever began volunteering was to increase my chances of getting invited and inducted into NHS my sophomore year. My mom helped me start volunteering by putting me into contact with Ms. Robinson, a high school counselor, who set me up as a tutor for an elementary school student. "You'll be working with a 5th grader named Cedric; he's having a hard time in many of his classes, he's failing a few subjects, oh and also he's dyslexic" explained my mom.

When I met Cedric I was baffled by his intelligence, expressive speech, and confidence. How could a child this smart and articulate be failing at school? However, as we began preparing for an upcoming spelling test, it became clear to me how his dyslexia interfered with his school work so strongly. "Okay, why don't you begin by writing down all the words three times and then I'll quiz you?" I asked. After he completed the task I began testing him. Half of the answers were wrong, but interestingly all of the incorrect answers were simply a similar word or contained all the right letters, just in the wrong places. "Alright Cedric, let's look at the first word, beginning." He had written "begging." To prevent him from getting words confused we reviewed the spelling and definition of every word. For words with letters in the wrong places, I had him break the words down into pieces and focus on the pronunciation of the words and their corresponding spelling. "Ok, so do you think you're ready to take another practice test?" I asked. "Yeah, I'm ready" he replied. When I checked his answers he got them all correct. "Dude! Good job Cedric, you got them all right" I rejoiced. As he high fived me I felt a sense of fulfillment and purpose I had never felt before. I started tutoring Cedric weekly, using different strategies to help him overcome his disadvantage and reach his full potential. I quickly forgot my initial self-centered motive of accumulating volunteer hours for my resume. As weeks passed Cedric's grades started improving and he was no longer failing.

Cedric moved away that summer, but I didn't forget the importance and enjoyment of volunteering. I continued to volunteer, coaching for athletic camps, teaching guitar, and tutoring. Tutoring Cedric was a great learning experience for me. Although volunteers never expect anything in return for their services, Cedric repaid me by teaching me selflessness, patience, and the significant impact just a little volunteering can make.
glaceau 1 / 6  
Nov 28, 2010   #2
Wow, I think this is a really good essay. Concise and easy to read. I like how you transition from each paragraph to the next. The only thing I can think of is to mention NHS again in your conclusion and show that you made it in.

And this is for UC Prompt 2 right?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 13, 2010   #3
This essay would be better without the first paragraph. That first para does not serve a good purpose as it reveals your original lack of enthusiasm. It actually is not useful to tell the reader about the lack of enthusiasm.

but all the necessary info is included in that second para. It is great! Without the burden of the first para, that second para draws the reader into the story with great finesse.

By cutting the first para, you have room to expound a little about your ...um... actually, I am now noticing that you did not cover an "issue" properly. You should cut the first para to make room for another para at the end, and at the end make it so that Cedric represents an important ISSUE, such as "learning disabilities and equal educational opportunity."

:-)


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