Arvind, Marie and Ronald are a jovial group, excited about learning and teaching alike.
Originally from Haiti, Marie has lived in the US for 30 years, 22 of which were in Philly. Arvind also immigrated to the US. Coming from India 13 years ago, Arvind completed his PhD at UPenn and now teaches Computer Science at his Alma Mater. Ronald, on the other hand, is a born and bred Fishtown native. This unlikely trio comes together twice a week to work on Algebra, long division, and other math skills.
Marie is a CNA, and has been for 25 years. Her dream job is a pharmacy technician, but lacking a diploma has gotten in the way of that dream. That is why she comes to not only LSH for tutoring, but goes to other local programs as well! She is ferociously pursuing her career, despite recent setbacks like a broken leg and back. Marie is looking towards this promising career path because her children, 22 and 27, attend college and her husband is nearing retirement. She is confident that her hard work will pay off: “I will pass. I will pass. I passed the citizenship test, and I can pass this.”
Arvind decided to become a tutor for adult learners because he felt it would improve his teaching abilities. He knew that as a tutor at LSH, he’d be working with a much different population than at Penn. And as professor, he doesn’t have as much 1-on-1 time with his students as he’d like, due to the size of his classes. He displays deep respect for Marie and Ronald, doling out handshakes upon successes like completing 10 long division problems successfully, and encouragement when they get hung up.
Ronald does everything in his life for his children; his face lights up in adoration when he discusses them, and they inspired him to return to his own education. Having worked for years in a carpet warehouse, Ronald hopes to use his new skills one day to open his own carpet store. He loves bringing what he learns with Arvind home to his kids, and has gained confidence in his own abilities. “I never thought I could do half of these things.” Not only does he learn math; Ronald also learns how to teach from Arvind. After working with his son on long division, Ronald witnessed his son teaching his daughter and their nieces the same skills!
Arvind, Marie, and Ronald listened carefully to each other’s stories throughout our conversation. They support each other in their goals, and will continue to work steadily towards achieving them. On their successes in learning Algebra, all three had the same thing to say:
“It’s a pretty good feeling.”
“For me, too.”
“And me, as well!”