Sunday, March 22, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Brea Adams

23 year old and recent University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate Brea Adams is passionate about youth. She just spent four years studying human development and family studies and is currently a graduate student at DePaul University where she is training to be a school counselor. Although she is unsure whether she wants to eventually work professionally with middle school or high school youth, she’s very happy to be working with her current mentee, 8th grader Dallae Rodriguez. They have only been matched up for a few months, yet they have already cultivated a strong mentoring relationship. They work on a variety of academic topics, primarily math, which has actually been a learning experience for Brea as well, since it forces her to brush up on some math concepts that may be a bit rusty. However, Brea’s research has definitely paid off since according to Dallae, “working with Brea has drastically brought up my grade for math”. She now regularly arrives at tutoring beaming from her scores of 90% and 100% on math tests where she was previously earning significantly lower marks. When speaking about their relationship, Brea sums it up with: “We connect well!” In fact, they have more in common than might meet the eye, for instance, they both wear the same style of shoes, are constantly smiling and even share a favorite book: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which addresses adolescent issues such as teenage sexuality, drug use and abuse in a real and honest way.

Tutoring youth is nothing new for Brea. In fact she has been working with younger students since high school and currently helps to run a program at DePaul that hires undergraduate tutors for the university. Because she enjoys working one-on-one with kids so much and missed this interaction after graduating from college and leaving Madison, she sought out our program immediately upon arriving in Chicago. However, originally she was not matched with Dallae, but rather with another student who unfortunately had infrequent attendance throughout the fall quarter. However during this time, Brea demonstrated her commitment when she remained with the program despite not always having her mentee to work with, instead kindly offering to work with other students when their mentors couldn’t come and keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity. When asked what she thinks of Cabrini Connections Brea offers: “I think this is a great program; I’m happy to be a part of it!” Thanks Brea for your dedication and all your hard work. You are a true asset to Dallae and our program!

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