During the Holiday Season, we recognize how important it is to take time to reflect on the people that mean the most to us, and those who have positively impacted our lives. At Practice Makes Perfect, we appreciate everyone that works hard to make our organization the success that it is. It takes a pyramid of people succeeding in order for PMP to see true growth and expansion. That is why we love it when our students and employees share their own stories of how PMP has positively impacted their lives. One of our amazing mentors, Ajay, has taken the opportunity to reflect on how his experience with Practice Makes Perfect has granted him with the gift of bettering himself, and those in his community:
My name is Ajay and I was a mentor in Practice Makes Perfect’s 2015 Summer Program in Jamaica, Queens. Growing up, school didn’t always come easy to me. I moved to Queens from Trinidad & Tobago when I was 4 years old with my family. When it came to school, I felt like I was always behind. It took many years, but I finally understood how I learn best and started excelling in school. I’m now in 11th grade at the High School for Law Enforcement & Public Safety and am looking forward to attending college.
I’d like tell you about PMP because it not only gave me the opportunity to better myself, but also better the next generation of students in my community. Over the 5 week program, I mentored a student named John in the 7th grade. He is a special needs teen that requires extra attention and time to succeed. At first, John was very quiet and would snap easily when he did not understand a problem or activity. Throughout the program, I spent an abundant amount of time with John to show him that I believed in him and I would never let him quit.
During the 3rd week, John started opening up. We found out he has a magnificent voice! I would make him sing answers out loud or dance his way to the front to write on the board. Whenever I saw him upset, I would take him out the classroom and just simply talk to him to help him express his emotions. John finally started to enjoy learning. He began spreading positive energy to himself and everyone around him, opening up in a physical, mental and emotional way.
PMP is an incredibly beneficial program for scholars and mentors. Mentors and Teaching Fellows spend quality individual time with each student. They connect to the scholars, not only on a learning level, but also on an emotional level. PMP is a sanctuary and feels like a home for the scholars, a place they can learn, play, and express themselves. Without PMP, all of the students in our Jamaica program would have been home, losing everything they learned the previous school year, and most likely getting into trouble.