EVkids tutors volunteer for all sorts of personal reasons. They believe in the value of education, mentoring, and building strong friendships, and have dreams of becoming teachers and leaders once they graduate. Often, their desire to help kids gain confidence and skills in the classroom develops from their own experience as students. This is true for Anthony Staccone, EVkids tutoring alum who graduated from Harvard in 2013.
Anthony attended Schenectady High School in upstate New York in a class of around 1,000 students. During his time there, Anthony saw first-hand the difficulties many students face in moving through high school and into college. By graduation, his class had dwindled down to about 550 students. That’s when Anthony made a commitment to becoming a volunteer and educator.
“That’s probably the thing that got me interested in doing EVkids, my experience in high school.”
As a freshman at Harvard, Anthony began what would become a four-year mentoring relationship with Hector, who was in 5th grade when they first met. Each week, they worked on Hector’s homework together and discovered common interests.
“He loved to read, and I did as well. That always made it something we could share at tutoring.”
After their four years as a tutoring pair, both Anthony and Hector took the next steps in their lives. Hector moved from middle school to high school, and Anthony, following his graduation from Harvard, became a teacher for two years in China. Last year, Anthony returned to New York to teach at the United Nations International School, where he teaches history to students whose parents are diplomats or staff at the UN.
Anthony sees his time with EVkids and with Hector as an experience where he learned the skills necessary to be a teacher.
“Being not only able to hear what someone else is saying, but understand it, respond to them. I tried to do that with Hector, and I try to do it now as a teacher.”
This year is an especially proud moment for the two of them. Hector is in his senior year, his final year in the EVkids Tutoring program, and is applying to colleges. Anthony reflects on his time tutoring Hector and sees how it helped both of them keep moving forward in their lives.
“It was great to feel important to him, and certainly he felt important to me.”