Immersed in the lively culture of Chinatown, CAS freshman Janice Lu has managed to keep up with her first semester of college while juggling a job. Working as a tutor at MS 131 Dr. Sun Yat Sen Middle School, Lu is part of America Reads, a national campaign started in 1996 that aims to help every child’s educational pursuits. The job has been an opportunity to help children who are struggling academically.
As a tutor, Lu usually allocates her time by helping individual students with reading skills or assisting the teacher. She manages to balance her work and classes by working on the days that overlap the least with her classes so after she can head directly to the school. Lu works seven hours a week, but plans on increasing to 10 hours as she adjusts to her first year of college.
While she has been able to balance her schedule with work and extracurriculars, Lu admits that she occasionally feels the stress of having a job during her first year. Despite feeling overwhelmed at times, Lu says the pressure to micromanage is worth the effort.
While she only just started working with America Reads, Lu believes she has managed to make an impact on the students.
“Although I’ve only worked at the middle school for a month or so, I’ve already become familiar with a majority of the teachers there and have become a role model in which the children look up to,” Lu said.
Lu has been able to evenly balance her classes, extracurriculars and social life with her job so she feels as if she is getting the full college experience. While her first semester has been trying, Lu believes the change she sees in the children make the efforts worthwhile.
“The stress is definitely worth it, as I know I am helping kids who are genuinely struggling with schoolwork,” Lu said. “The feeling of achievement I get when I successfully help a student learn a concept they were previously struggling with makes the stress all worth it.”
A version of this article appeared in the Nov. 9 print edition. Email Disha Gupta at [email protected].