This past spring, YES Prep launched YES Corps, a new program where tutors offer our secondary students support in specific subject areas after school, on Saturdays and during the summer. Through YES Corps, our students have a structured tutoring program and teachers have additional support to plan and execute targeted lessons aligned to data and student needs.
To learn more about YES Corps and how the program is performing in its first year, we connected with Raven Rea, manager of tutorial programming, and Karen Garza, a YES Corps tutor and alumna.
About YES Prep’s YES Corps
Rea joined YES Prep last year to design, launch and sustain the new YES Corps program. Before joining YES Prep, Rea was with New York City Department of Education within the Division of Early Childhood as an Engagement Manager. Now, halfway through the program’s first year, we asked Rea to share more details about the program.
Why was YES Corps created and what need does this program fill?
The tutorial program was designed to assist YES Prep students in achieving satisfactory performance in specific subject areas and in their grade level overall. The program also supports students most as risk of failing the STAAR or STAAR End-of-Course assessments by providing them additional learning time master the grade-level skills.
How does YES Corps work?
We currently tutor students at 18 of our secondary campuses. Students are selected to receive tutoring based on their grades. Each of our tutors works with up to 15 students across multiple schools, with about half leading small groups with special accommodations such as students being tutored in Spanish or whose families opted their students out of larger tutoring sessions. YES Corps is currently only offered to our secondary schools.
Who are the YES Corps tutors?
The tutors are Houston area college students, and 95% of them are YES Prep alumni! We currently have 14 YES Corps tutors. The subjects we are offering tutoring for through the YES Corps are grade 7 math and reading, English I and II, Algebra I, biology and US History.
All hired tutors are paid $15 an hour and can work up to 10 hours per week with the commitment to work the entire school year should their schedules permit. A great tutor is someone with a diverse background, talents, interests and ideas. Passion for the mission and concern for our students are two characteristics that consistently emerge in our most successful tutors. Other traits needed and desired for this role are to have a 3.0 GPA or above and have earned a B grade or higher in the subject area they will be tutoring.
Being a YES Corps tutor
As mentioned above, Karen Garza is a YES Corps tutor and a graduate from YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary. After high school graduation, Garza attended Houston Community College, where she is majoring in Mathematical Science with a certification in teaching grades four through eight.
How did you learn about the YES Corps program and why did you decide to be a tutor?
I have always wanted to become a teacher, which is why I am attending Houston Community College. I heard about YES Corps through YES Prep’s Instagram. After learning more about the program, I knew it was a perfect fit for me and decided to apply. I became a tutor because I wanted to gain experience and since I want to eventually teach at YES after graduation, it was the best move for me.
What has been your experience in the program so far?
It has been very good. Since joining YES as an employee, I received a lot of support with on boarding but also with getting ready to step into the classroom. Raven has been helpful and has answered all my questions and hesitations. Being able to support students in their studies and helping them get over the problems they have in class has been one of best experiences. The students I tutor are willing to learn and participate, which has made my experience as a tutor enjoyable.
What impact have you seen tutoring have on the students?
One of my student’s teachers came to talk to me about how she was doing much better in math since she started attending the tutorials. She was putting the effort into tutorials and participating, and it was paying off for her.
Who would you recommend becoming a YES Corps tutor?
Anyone who is interested in education or teaching and wants to gain experience through education, YES Corps is the place to start! I have loved my experience so far and getting to know and getting to work with students while making a lasting impact on their education.
If you are a college student and this sounds like an opportunity you would be interested in, click here to apply today!