First Niagara Intern Blog Post – Ellie

Ellie webName: Ellie Czepiel

Hometown: Hamden, CT

College and major: Wellesley, class of 2020, undeclared

Tutoring Site: Bristol St and Science Park

Club: code.org

Favorite childhood book: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I started tutoring at New Haven Reads two summers ago.  I would come in, tutor for an hour or two, and leave.  I never saw the full extent of the resources and programs that New Haven Reads provides.  Being a summer intern here has given me the opportunity to see just how much is actually going on, and to be a part of it.

One of the programs that I’ve been able to get involved with is the summer clubs program.  Coming to the code.org club and seeing the students make such impressive progress is great, but what I enjoy even more is seeing the students’ excitement when they finish a level or finally solve a problem they’ve been working on.  They’re overjoyed, sometimes jumping out of their seats and throwing their fists in the air, yelling “yes!  I did it!”.  Their excitement is infectious. Working here is always fun and engaging, but moments like that are exceptionally rewarding.

Just last week, I was tutoring a student who got discouraged after getting a couple questions wrong on Lexia.  He didn’t want to keep answering the questions because he didn’t think he could do any of them.  So, we switched to reading and he picked out a Star Wars book narrated by C3PO.  In minutes, we were laughing and having a great time, reading about Star Wars characters in our robot voices.  Being able to see that student find something that not only interested him but proved to him that he was actually capable of doing the work we were asking of him was a great experience.

I want to thank First Niagara for giving me the chance to be a part of all the amazing things that are happening at New Haven Reads.  I’ve absolutely loved my time here; I am genuinely excited to come to work every morning, because the work we’re doing is so impactful and the people I work with are so fun to be around.  I now know that I want to continue tutoring during this school year when I go to college, because I have loved working here this summer.

Categories First Niagara Summer Internship, News & Events | Tags: , , , | Posted on August 18, 2016

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