During my sophomore year at Howard University, I participated in the Center for Research of Students Placed At Risk (CRESPAR). As a tutor for the research program, I worked with public school students in the Southeast area of Washington, DC. That part of the city is notorious for its crime, poverty, violence, and drugs. Also, the children in that community are known to lack some of the educational opportunities and resources that the middle-class population has access to. Due to the lack of a nurturing academic environment, it is no surprise that many of these students face challenges. As a result, my experience with those students was, at first, disheartening and difficult, but eventually, I grew to enjoy working with them. In fact, I have developed a passion to work in such schools. The children in inner-city areas have not asked to be born into those circumstances. Instead, they have been placed there and are at risk to continue the cycle of destruction that plague their communities. As an educator I want to make learning a way for my children to rise above such conditions. I wish to encourage them to be active participants in their learning. In addition, I will endeavor to help each child reach his/ her potentials by continuously joining forces with parents to ensure that my students receive academic and behavioral support at home. .
Through assessments of the children's reading and mathematic abilities, I realized that many of the students were performing below their grade levels; this was evident in their low standardized test scores. I was given only three months to help the students improve their test scores and overall abilities. I knew this was going to be difficult; nevertheless, I resolved to be diligent in helping my students succeed. With the input from each child, we developed goals for their individual achievement. The students and I wrote down goals and we kept track of their progress.