When you hear the name “New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment”, what would be the first thing that came to mind? Perhaps, you were hung up on what consortium means or you might know this organization referred to as the WE Center here in Fargo. The WE Center is focused on empowerment, wellness, volunteering, leadership, and establishing a voice in our community for all New Americans. We have a goal of betterment for the FM area, but we need volunteers to accomplish this. That’s where you come in!
As a tutor, you’re able to meet with New Americans, either one-on-one, in a group, or even in a school! There’s a high demand for English tutors, and if you speak English, we can provide you with the training, tools, and resources to be successful. If you are considering volunteering as a tutor, this guide will familiarize you with what you might expect from your first volunteer experience.
The New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment is located at 15 21st Street S, Suite 102, in Fargo ND.
Meet Dr. Kevin Brooks! He is the director of the Giving + Learning Program at the WE Center that he revived in 2014 after volunteering since 2008. Kevin will be the smiling, welcoming face you will see as you enter the center to volunteer on Saturdays or Sundays from 4-6 p.m. He sees the WE Center as “…more of an umbrella” and feels as if every program the WE Center participates in and every event created what the center is today, but he is very proud of the impact the Giving + Learning Project has had so far. To learn more about this impact listen to Kevin’s audio interview.
“It’s fun, it’s interesting, you’ll learn a lot… they (the volunteers) learn so much from the people that we are working with that it is definitely a two-way street.”
(Dr. Brooks Transcript)
This is Emily Vang! She is a volunteer at the WE Center and would love to share her success stories with any new volunteers. Emily has directly been affected by the WE Center as every learner she helps encourages her to do well in her everyday life. Learn more about Emily and her experiences by listening to her audio interview!
“Just seeing how determined they are, it makes you feel like you want to be determined as well. This place [the WE Center] has really created a good atmosphere for me to come, just take some time off of homework or studying and coming here and help others who need help.”
By now, you may be a little more familiar with the impact of the WE Center especially in regards to volunteering and the Giving + Learning Program led by Kevin Brooks, but you may still be wondering what is expected of you as a volunteer or what to expect on your first visit to the WE Center.
Typical Day of a Volunteer
It’s a common misconception that volunteering requires a massive time commitment and training. As Kevin would say, “You know, one way to look at it is if you can speak English and read and write English you can tutor in English” and he thinks there is a lot of truth in that. As long as you are patient and willing to lend your time the WE Center would appreciate all that you have to offer. A typical day of a volunteer would look something like:
Stepping into the WE Center and being greeted by a friendly face such as Kevin or Emily (who thankfully you already know a little about!), you would be introduced to a learner, many having different goals for the day from studying for an exam to training for their driving permit. As a native English speaker, you can lend a hand to any and all needs of the learners and in return you could learn just as much. Perhaps it would be how to say “hello” in the learner’s native tongue, or you would be lucky enough to hear their story of how they arrived in Fargo. Before you know it, the session is over and you are feeling as if you learned more than the person sitting next to you as you get up to leave. The WE Center can have that effect on you as it has for most of its volunteers!
To learn more about how you can become a tutor, access forms, or learn tips about tutoring, go to the Giving + Learning website at https://givingpluslearning.org/become-a-tutor/