My name is Kendall Kiley and I am majoring in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration and Policy. I am serving as a homework tutor at Horton’s Kids’ Community Resource Center, and connecting the experience to my writing class that focuses on social justice. To be completely honest, I had a difficult time choosing an organization to work with; Horton’s Kids was suggested to me by my teacher and seeing as a few of my fellow classmates were participating in the program, I figured it would be the simplest choice. Horton’s Kids offers a multitude of different programs and meeting grounds, from the Rayburn House Office Building to the resource center in the Wellington Park community where the organization began. Every Wednesday, I ride the green line to Anacostia, where my classmates and I are picked up by a volunteer and taken to the resource center.
For having stumbled into my organization, I cannot believe the profound effect it has had on me in just the past month alone. The children at the center are amazing to work with, and they really do value the time they have with their tutors. The best part of the experience is getting to witness first-hand the efforts and solutions that Horton’s Kids implements to help the children succeed. Serving multiple low-income families in an area where the high school graduate rate is about 19%, Horton’s Kids provides not only tutors for homework, but a nutritious meal and a safe area for the kids to play. I find myself looking forward to Wednesdays now, where I get to step into the tutoring area and be swarmed by excited kids who are either ready to work or ready to tell me about their day. The tutoring is not only a chance to help kids with their homework, but a chance to act as a role model and help kids achieve their dreams and graduate. And I am only one volunteer; there are many tutors and directors whose main focus is giving these kids a chance. The resource center is small, but the success stories and children’s artwork that decorate its walls shows a big impact.