Today was Team FUTURE’s first day in the classrooms at IDEA McAllen and before even arriving at the school we were off to an interesting start. What was supposed to be a quick 10 minute drive to the 6th-9th grade school ended up taking almost an hour and included a few stops at incorrect locations on the way. Needless to say, when we finally arrived at the school we were excited to get out of the car and jump into the classrooms with the students.

In the morning I got to check out a pretty awesome self-guided learning system that IDEA students use to improve both their math and reading skills. What really surprised me about the students as they used this online learning aid, was the focused and goal-oriented attitude each student had in approaching his or her own work. One student that specifically caught my eye was doing problems that seemed particularly challenging and when she was given the option to play online games towards the end of the period, she  instead decided to persevere and continued to solve her problems. Students such as this seem to be commonplace in the IDEA classrooms and the morning classes were merely the first place I experienced this steadfast and determined approach to education.

In the afternoon, several other team members and I worked with McAllen’s AVID tutoring program. This program is entirely geared toward teaching students about college and how they can be successful in rigorous academic environments. IDEA students were given a list of questions pertaining to college life and subsequently conducted mock interviews with Lafayette ASB team members. One of the questions I personally enjoyed answering was giving advice to high school students. This question made me nostalgic for my high school experience and also served as a meaningful moment of self-reflection. I similarly enjoyed talking with students about my extracurricular activities, because they are definitely a big part of who I am and how I have experienced college thus far. I was definitely amazed at the excitement radiating from the students as they asked my teammates and I questions. It is times like those that make me glad to be able to participate in ASB, where I get to support younger hopeful students in making life-changing decisions for themselves.

Looking forward to tomorrow,