The Tutor Project
in conjunction with CANFRO’s partner, The Oaxaca Learning Centre
With only a few months of tutoring experience under her belt, Daniela Camarillo López was nervous about her next student. She knew from her colleagues that he was introverted, expressionless, difficult to deal with. Those warnings were confirmed when they began working together. “However, I was sure that there was something else behind that behavior,” she says. Recalling her younger self, confused and indecisive about what to study, seeking tutoring help at The Oaxaca Learning Centre (TOLC), she reasoned, “after all, a few years before I had been similar to him.”
Little by little, as the months went by, the youth came out of his shell. He greeted her, and said goodbye, even laughed at a joke and began a conversation. His schoolwork improved. As his tutor, Daniela was proud of his academic performance, but what impressed her the most was his personal development. Eventually, by the time he moved on to a different tutor, “the heavy and sad aura that had surrounded him had disappeared.”
Recently Daniela met this young man again, at a small event, and learned that he had graduated in tourist administration. “I asked him if he remembered when I became his tutor, to which he replied: “Of course! Too bad you met me at that time … No, rather, it is good that I met you back then, thank you very much for everything you did for me.”
Daniela offers this story to show the impact a tutor can have—and she knows, from both sides. Daniela’s high school tutor awakened her curiosity about mathematics and led to her being admitted into university. When she was offered a tutoring position, she accepted, “knowing that this was a great opportunity.” She realized that she would learn more, “and also that the stipend I would receive would help me pay my tuition fees.”
Now in her mid 20s, Daniela still tutors on the weekends, as she approaches her graduation in mathematics, and looks ahead to taking her professional exam. Decisions await her about what to do next: post-grad studies in science, or teaching, or something else entirely.
The Oaxaca Learning Centre helps give students the opportunity to make choices about their futures. The work of TOLC, Daniela says, “is very noble and significant not only for the academic development of students, but also for their life in general.”