Donald Bici, a current senior studying Petroleum Engineering at The University of Houston, sat down with Rachana Wood, Director of Professional Development, to discuss his time as an iEducate tutor.
Rachana: Thank you, Donald, for being a part of iEducate and sharing your experience. Tell us, how did you first hear about iEducate?
Donald: Thank you Ms. Wood!┬áWell, It was my sophomore year in college and I really was looking to
try something other than engineering internships at the time. I searched the UH career services portal for other opportunities out there and thatÔÇÖs how I came across iEducate – now I’ve been an iEducate tutor for 3 years!
Rachana: What made you decide you wanted to work with iEducateUSA?
Donald: At first I was a little hesitant about the job, just because I didnÔÇÖt really know what to expect. However, I was immediately drawn to the passion iEducate has towards the betterment of the childrenÔÇÖs lives, itÔÇÖs highly commendable. As the weeks passed, the amount of support I got from the elementary school teachers and iEducate is truly what made me continue being a part of the organization. As an immigrant, I understand what these kids are going through, they need some guidance and a mentor, just to get them on the right track.
Rachana: ThatÔÇÖs wonderful! How has iEducate impacted you, and whatÔÇÖs your take away from it?
Donald: IÔÇÖve seen students who I work with go from not caring about school, to completely changing their demeanor to being hard-working students. It has made me realize how much of an influence we (college students) can be for these elementary school students. Some donÔÇÖt have that figure to look up to, itÔÇÖs like we give them that extra drive to work hard and they can get to the same place we are. As for something to take away, itÔÇÖs given me a lot of patience, teaching is not as easy as people think!
Also, the professional development initiative at iEducate has provided me so much guidance towards my job search, resume building, interview skills that I feel IÔÇÖm better prepared for the task. The mentoring has definitely made me more confident about my job search.
Rachana: Would you say your time with iEducate has made an impact?
Donald: Absolutely, I think what iEducate is doing is not only a great concept, it actually works! The student passing rates in math and science before versus after iEducate came to schools says it all. I just think what iEducate has done, and is currently doing is great for the education system, specifically STEM which the United States is generally lacking in. I enjoy making a difference in these studentsÔÇÖ lives, just as I wouldÔÇÖve liked mentors do to me when I was in elementary school.
Rachana: Those are some great thoughts, Donald. Thank you again for your time, and for your commitment to the iEducate program. All the best with your upcoming interviews!