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Getting Involved: Sursum Corda Tutoring

As a sophomore at Georgetown, I switched from DC Reads to Sursum Corda Literacy Program because I could no longer make the time commitment required of DC Reads participants. It began as a way to become involved in the world of the District beyond the Georgetown bubble, but in my last year at Georgetown I look back and realize that it was a much more integral part of my experience here than I realized.

Sursum Corda tutors after school Monday through Thursday at the Perry School in Northwest, D.C. The Perry School is an after-school center for students from various elementary schools to come, do their homework, play on the computer, and receive food. The kids are all ages from K-5, and even though they can be a lot to handle sometimes, I would be lying if I said I don’t often look forward to the laughs they’ll give us when we’re there.

Last year, a first grader named Jamez (yes, with a Z) taught us how to be a ladies’ man and described his girlfriend woes. Caleb, the program coordinator’s son, can speak French. Zakaiya is better at algebra than I am (math isn’t my forté). We learn Beyoncé dances and cool handshakes. It’s amazing and the kids make us smile and remind us that there are other things to worry about besides that quickly approaching Econometrics midterm. For a brief two hours every week, I am allowed to forget the stresses of Georgetown and put my mind entirely towards being a leader and friend for kids I never would expected to meet during my four years here.

We’re going to bring the kids to campus, hopefully, one day this fall. Show them what they have to look forward to. And, as a senior, I have to say I’m so grateful to them for allowing me to see through other eyes how amazing this place is. They need me to help them with their homework, and I need them to keep me fully aware of how lucky I am to be here. (Even though this realization has been hard to swallow as of late, since my time here is dwindling and I am increasingly terrified of leaving.) The bottom line: get involved. I not only became friends with the kids, but also with the other tutors. I’ve met people outside of my friend circle, in other grades, etc. We have the best time. Whether it is with Sursum Corda, DC Reads, or any other organization that takes you off campus (doesn’t have to be tutoring-related!), join! And it’s not too late, seniors! Do it.

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