I grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, in family of teachers—both of my grandmothers and my mother have made lifelong careers of teaching elementary school students. They instilled in me that education not only provides skills and opportunities to excel in general, but also enriches our lives and makes sense of our experiences.
Growing up, my nose was always buried in a book. I devoured philosophy, literature, and, most especially, history. I love the otherworldly societies of the past, including ancient Egypt, medieval Italy, and the Aztec empire, and I am always fascinated by political revolution. I hope to pass on my curiosity for history to my students: I think that encountering history as humanity’s shared past, rather than a monotonous accumulation of lifeless events, can provide a strong conceptual framework that enhances our understanding of the present moment and emboldens students to anticipate and create better futures.
During my college years at UC Santa Cruz, I began with history as my major, but cycled through four other majors – anthropology, philosophy, literature, and politics – before I decided to create an individual major in religious studies. In doing so, I immersed myself in a rigorous study of the humanities that allowed me to focus on what I wanted to study, not follow a plan that didn’t fit my needs. The right teachers and an individualized study plan allowed me to enjoy an electrifying, exciting education, and I noticed a corresponding improvement in my grades. I believe that education should respond to a student’s interests and strengths: it’s not a one-size-fits-all experience. In the future, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in education or education leadership to promote an emphasis on individualized education for students who love learning, but find school to be unnecessarily stressful or difficult.
At AJ Tutoring, I’m very glad to have found a community of like-minded colleagues who agree that within everyone there is a successful student who can find joy in their education. I think that the job of a tutor is to ensure that the inner scholar in everyone is cultivated—whether it be through strengthening study skills, attentive one-on-one review sessions, or a little bit of encouragement before a big exam. I’m glad to help take care of ensuring that the practical, and sometimes tedious, necessities and challenges students face are addressed so that a student can succeed in the future.
In my free time, I love to go on hikes, watch movies, and cook.