Making connections to the larger community

Warwick. Superintendent’s Spotlight: Warwick Valley High School students who help the children of farm workers with their studies.

| 21 Feb 2020 | 01:59

When one hears about teenagers being described as self-centered, he or she has not met the four Warwick Valley High School students Elizabeth Centorrino, Billie Finn, Cameron Quinn and Charlotte O’Connor.

These young women have been volunteering for years with WAMC (Warwick Area Migrant Committee) and have been tutoring children of farm worker families weekly. They help the children complete homework in math, English, history and anything else that may be needed.

After the children complete their homework, they get to choose playing a game or reading a book with their tutors. Relationships are formed and the children look up to these teens as their mentors.

The children have not been the only ones to benefit. The teens said they have found that as they have gotten to know people from different backgrounds they have developed self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Being deemed mentors has had a positive impact on these teenagers. Success at school and the knowledge that there is a bigger connection to the community are the real “wins.”

Their work as volunteers is not confined to just tutoring.

Charlotte O’Connor spent last spring coaching a group of girls from WAMC for the Girls on the Run Program. This was a larger commitment for several weeks; it had such a positive outcome. Charlotte feels that this has been a wonderful experience.

There are up to 27 students enrolled with about 20 tutors in this program. Tutors include retired teachers and community members interested in supporting the children.

They meet every Wednesday afternoon at the Pine Island School throughout the year.