For some, service extends beyond sophomore year

EXTENDED+SERVICE.+John+Freeman+stretches+along+with+several+other+children+from+William+H.+Ray+Elementary+School%2C+where+he+has+continued+to+volunteer+during+his+junior+year.
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For some, service extends beyond sophomore year

EXTENDED SERVICE. John Freeman stretches along with several other children from William H. Ray Elementary School, where he has continued to volunteer during his junior year.

EXTENDED SERVICE. John Freeman stretches along with several other children from William H. Ray Elementary School, where he has continued to volunteer during his junior year.

Macy Beal

EXTENDED SERVICE. John Freeman stretches along with several other children from William H. Ray Elementary School, where he has continued to volunteer during his junior year.

Macy Beal

Macy Beal

EXTENDED SERVICE. John Freeman stretches along with several other children from William H. Ray Elementary School, where he has continued to volunteer during his junior year.

Nikhil Patel, Web Editor

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As the students pour in from their regularly scheduled after school program, they begin to sit at the tables that they are familiar with. The kids, who are anywhere from kindergarten to eighth grade, begin to either play or work on their homework and with tutor John Freeman, a volunteer and a U-High junior, who has spent far more than the required 40 hours at the After School Fun program at William H. Ray Elementary School.

Although many students do not continue at their service site past the required 40 hours, some go above and beyond the requirements by continuing to volunteer long past the requirements.

A bond that grows between the volunteer and the community often serves as a powerful reason for this excellence. 

“I didn’t think I was going to keep helping out at Ray when I started, but by the time the end of the year came I had made such strong bonds with the students there that I just didn’t want to stop going,” John said.

Grant Fishman, a senior, tutors students at the University of Chicago Charter School North Kenwood/Oakland and has been volunteering there with Ready, Set, Grow! since the organization’s founding. He chose to fulfill his sophomore year requirement there as well.

“My sister founded the organization during her sophomore year, and when I joined, I intended on eventually taking responsibility for its continual growth,” Grant said. “I grew attached to the kids over the years, and watching them mature has been very rewarding.” 

John had a close connection to the site before sophomore year.

“I knew I wanted to tutor because I have been tutoring middle schoolers here since freshman year and have really enjoyed it,” he said. “Ray School is a place that is close by that needed the help, so I decided it would be the right place.”

At their service sites, John and Grant help both curricularly and extra-curricularly. Aside from his role as a tutor who helps with his homework, John also serves as a peer to talk with. 

One of John’s favorite parts of his volunteer site is the conversations he has with the students.

“I have had so many great conversations about anything you could imagine,” he said. “Talking with the kids there has really given me a different perspective of my life.”