Meet one of our volunteer Maths tutors – Elizabeth
Our volunteers are amazing people that are passionate about making a difference in education. We would like you to get to know who they are and what they do at GT Scholars, so every few weeks we conduct an interview with one of them. Here is the most recent interview with one of our volunteer tutors, Elizabeth Polido.
- Why did you decide to volunteer your time with GT Scholars?
I decided to volunteer as a tutor because I wanted to share my knowledge, especially in the field of science. I want to help young people to understand what the subject is about, but also to enjoy it. By doing this, I hope it will help them to improve their grades at school.
- Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I was born in the UK but I grew up in The Philippines for 19 years. In The Philippines, they heavily focus maths and science in school. This led to me developing an interest in science. When I returned to the UK, I decided to study forensic science at college. This was because I really wanted to do something that was practical or based in a laboratory. I then studied Biomedical Science at the University of Surrey. This is when I became more keen to share my knowledge of science to others, and then I decided that tutoring would be the best way to share my knowledge with young people.
- How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
Support has been really important to me because without it I would not have known what to do or have some direction and guidance. I also believe in communication being an important part of the support, and I like to hear feedback from others so that I can turn my weaknesses into strengths. For example, when I first started tutoring I did not know how to use the software, but I was able to communicate my problems with someone who could help and then received feedback from them so that they could show me how to use it. Both support and communication are important to me.
- Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
Tutoring is valuable because you get to help them improve their understanding of a subject and then improve their grades. Young people need the motivation to learn and to understand a topic. Tutoring is able to motivate them, especially one-to-one tutoring. The tutor is able to see the student’s individual needs, strengths and weaknesses, and to help them specifically. This will allow them to reach their greatest potential.
- What part of the volunteering process have you found the most fulfilling?
When we start the sessions, my student and I do not know each other well. I really enjoy getting to know who they are so that I can help them. I enjoy seeing that they are learning, while also learning from them. I enjoy seeing their improvement, but also helping them to understand how to do their best and keep on trying when they fail. I am thankful for this opportunity to help young people, while also learning valuable things from this experience that helps me grow.
Elizabeth is a knowledgeable individual with strong communication, organisational and technical skills. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, but also open to understanding how young people think and is very accommodating. With a background in science, most of her work experience is in the medical or pharmaceutical fields. She is also an associate of the Royal Society of Biology, a licentiate of the Institute of Biomedical Science, and is able to speak four different languages.
GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us.