Departing Reflections from ESF Literacy

In this week’s blog, graduating seniors and Engage San Francisco Literacy program coordinator Dresden Smith, reflect on their experiences and biggest takeaways from being a part of the ESF Literacy initiative. Read their reflections and learn more about their time spent working with students in The Fillmore / Western Addition.

Engage San Francisco Literacy is a tutoring program working to promote educational equity within The Fillmore /  Western Addition, a historical Black district in San Francisco. It is an Engage San Francisco priority to ensure that each tutor enters the community with an understanding of systemic oppression and the community’s experience and expertise in resisting oppression. Through our curriculum, students deconstruct and rebuild an understanding of their tutoring role by reading articles, watching videos, writing reflections, and having group discussions. In this blog post, graduating tutors speak to their personal growth as socially conscious people and the ways in which ESF Literacy provided them with a family. We are so lucky to have had these tutors on our team for the last few years and I know for certain they will be missed. – Dresden Smith

Chloe Bryan, B.A. Psychology:  My biggest takeaway from my time as a tutor is developing a stronger, more prevalent critical consciousness. Continuously learning with each day of work and changing my perspectives and capacity for empathy is all a part of this job. Watching students regain their passion for learning post-COVID has been absolutely inspiring. I am truly going to miss these kiddos. 

Allison Simpson B.A. Psychology:  My biggest takeaway from my time as a tutor is the family I made. Being a tutor in ESF didn’t feel like a job, it felt like a 2nd home. After classes, going to work and being with the kids to help with homework and play helped to give me peace and relaxation when I was stressed.

Giuliana Salomone, B.A. Media Studies:  My biggest takeaway from my time as a tutor is how important it is to ask others how you can best provide support, instead of assuming you know what is helpful. I feel so lucky to have been a part of the ESF Literacy program. I have learned so much from this experience. 

Estreya Gonzalez, B.A. English: My biggest takeaway from my time as a tutor is that learning about the community that I am teaching in is just as important as learning about the students themselves.

Genevieve Gray, B.A. Psychology:  My biggest takeaway from my time as a tutor is learning how to support each kid in the way that they need most and understanding that what works for one kid might not work for another. At Prince Hall Computer Learning Center, over the past three years, I was able to work with kids in every grade and become really familiar with their specific learning styles. I’m so glad I got to build relationships with each of the kids as well as my bosses and fellow tutors. ESF Literacy is a great program and I’m so glad I had the chance to work for them and for Prince Hall. The ESF Literacy team is an understanding and supportive community and they always have the best interest of the kids and tutors in mind.

Callie Fausey, B.A. Media Studies:  I loved getting to know and learning from the students, and I’ve grown really attached to everyone at Prince Hall. What I didn’t really expect was how much I would grow to love the kids and Ms. Miriam and Ms. Andi, and now they feel like family. Tutoring quickly began to feel less like a job, and I am super honored I got to watch the kids grow and learn. I learned that when you put yourself in spaces like Prince Hall, you’re entering a community and you will be a part of that community. Everything I learned through ESF helped me be a conscientious, selfless, mindful, and reflective member of that community, and working with the kids and the program supervisors made me an overall more compassionate, caring, and involved tutor.

Engage San FranciscoEngage San Francisco LiteracyEngage San Francisco Literacy TutorsStudent successStudents Of ColorThe FillmoreUniversity of San FranciscoUSF School of EducationWestern Addition

Leo T. McCarthy Center • June 20, 2022

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