Done well, the benefits of tutoring and mentoring extend far beyond academic improvement for the students to our broader civic culture: Volunteers develop new capacities and confidence in their ability to be a positive force in their communities. They become more civically engaged and feel closer to their communities by building bridges and goodwill – even if it takes time and perseverance – thus perpetuating a virtuous cycle of community engagement. Students grow up and pay it forward to the next generation. Volunteer tutors and mentors also become informal ambassadors throughout the city and suburbs advocating and educating on the transformative power of one-on-one relationships across class boundaries. Such relationships have the power to change the public mindset from, “There’s a problem in someone else’s neighborhood and we can’t do anything about it” to “By helping one kid in need, I’m building bridges and good will in our city. I’m changing lives for the better — even if it takes time and perseverance.”

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