Steve has been a long time tutor for the Hillsborough Literacy Council, and soon he will be leaving to pursue the adventure of teaching overseas! So, before that happens, we decided to shine the spotlight on him with this brief interview!
Steve, give us a brief bio:
Steve: I was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Florida, when I was 15 years old in 1971 and have been a Florida resident ever since. Only leaving for an enlistment in the U.S. Army from 1975-1977. Upon my return I went to USF on the G.I. Bill and received a B.A. in History in 1980. After graduation, I started my career in the construction supply business, with an emphasis on selling tools. For over 38 years I was involved in management and sales. Then in December 2018 I was fortunate enough to retire from the rat race!
How long have you been tutoring, and what brought you to tutor with the HLC?
I attended a training session for the HLC in August 2010 and got my first student in September. My motivation was to help people, who were motivated to help themselves. Regarding this goal, I have not been disappointed.
What impact do you think you have made on your students’ lives?
As a tutor, I have been able to help students obtain employment and further their career goals. Plus, as a conversation group leader, I often have felt like the welcoming representative to Tampa, if not the U.S. itself. Often, with the help of students, who have been here longer, we can point them in the right direction for things. Also, stay at home moms have an opportunity to practice English, so they can try to catch up to their children’s speaking level.
What impact has tutoring with the HLC had on your life?
My decision to volunteer my time to tutor has exceeded all expectations. The journey of the last 9 years has been an adventure I couldn’t have imagined, when I started. Especially, the friends I’ve made and even had the good fortune to visit in their home countries. Locally, I will run into people at the mall, who were students a few years ago and get an update on their lives. Hearing about their academic and employment success is enjoyable. Most rewarding though is when they speak of their family’s happiness.
What advice would you give a new tutor?
Jump right in and make a difference today! You can help unlock the talents that the students have by teaching them English. Your contribution today will repay itself many times.
Disclaimer: In reality, I take little credit for the success of the students. I often remind them that they have the hard job. That mine is the easy one.