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Alison Culvert

The most meaningful experience that I was a part of in my undergraduate career at Ramapo took place through a service learning opportunity I was offered. During the second semester of my junior year, I was given the chance to work with a college employee as her English as a Second Language tutor. Upon our first meeting, I asked her what she would like to get out of our tutoring sessions and her excitement and strong desire to learn resulted in a very long list of topics. From this, I researched worksheets, books, lessons, and other materials to be able to work with her on the topics that she expressed an interest in. Our hard work throughout the semester paid off and helped to further improve her English. She informed me after leaving the college that she went for a job interview and was hired – and preceded to thank me over and over again for the work that I had done with her throughout our time together. She also informed me that she was using the skills to help her niece and nephew improve their English.

I continued on with this tutoring opportunity into the first semester of my senior year, during which I was accepted to speak at an undergraduate conference about my tutoring experiences. I have taken my passion for ESL tutoring farther than just my undergraduate experience and, following graduation, have taken part in a training workshop in order to prepare myself to work with a resident of Montvale for ten weeks. We will be working together to improve the resident’s speech and writing skills. I am also looking to include my ESL experience into my graduate schoolwork. What began as a service learning component of class turned into what I would like to do with my future. You never know what doors will open up for you!