“I am a freshman at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and I was part of Project: VISION’s program for eight years. I am currently majoring in education because I realized that I have a passion for teaching and helping others. Combining these passions motivated me toward the field of education. Project: VISION’s leadership program and staff have contributed to shaping me into the person I am today.
Through DREAM, PV’s collaborative leadership development program with the Chicago Park District’s afterschool program at Haines Elementary School, I worked with young students by tutoring and leading recreational activities. Teaching kids was an amazing experience because I connected with these young children and helped them grow a connection and love for education like PV’s staff and tutors did for me. Through PV, I learned the value of communication, patience, and resilience. I learned to see through the tutors’ lens, where they can connect with their students while teaching. They made me feel comfortable with the concepts I didn’t understand in school. They showed me kindness and helped me grow and learn from my mistakes and not give up. I want to share and instill the same resilience in others that will enable them to conquer challenging experiences that may come their way.
Project: VISION inspired me to take these lessons with me to college and beyond to pass on to my future students. I want to be a teacher who will leave a lasting impact on a student, so I aspire to continue my education to become an elementary school teacher who can.”
“Going from one country to another was a memory I had once lost. I was only two years old when I immigrated to the United States with my parents. For the first two years of my life, I lived in China with my aunt so that my parents could find jobs in America before they brought me to the new country. Throughout my early childhood, Cantonese was the only language that I learned. My parents were not fluent in English, so I struggled to learn it as well. When other kids were starting to learn to count in English, I was learning how to count in Cantonese. When other kids were starting to learn how to speak full sentences in English, I was learning how to speak full sentences in Cantonese. As I got older, I continued to struggle with exercises that my peers thought were simple. I was often bullied for being illiterate and not being able to understand simple things other students could, so I got the label of ‘the dumb Asian girl‘ . . .”
Read more of Ashley’s story . . .
“I was part of Project: VISION youth programs since the 8th grade and joined initially for a safe place to go after school and for homework help, although I had always been a hard-working student and mainly just needed an extra push from time to time. However, high school became more challenging, and I relied on tutoring more heavily to keep my grades up. I also benefited from the the college prep programs, especially the test prep classes, essay writing workshops for applications and help with filling out the FAFSA for financial aid . . . ”
Read more of Eric’s story . . .
Eric’s story really captures the goals of PV’s work because we have been able to help him improve his academic skills, ensuring that he navigates high school successfully and is well-prepared for college, but even more importantly, our programs have instilled the importance of community, broadened his worldview, and helped him gain soft skills that will prepare him for the workplace and as a future community leader.