Tutor Corps

HWS students volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva

Tutor Corps is funded in part by a 21st Century Grant from the U.S. Department of Education that encourages enrichment opportunities outside of the traditional school day. It is also supported by Geneva 2020, the collective impact initiative that leverages public and private partnerships in the community to support the education of Geneva’s children. Tutor Corps complements the efforts of America Reads, which is in its 28th year and was originally founded as the Student Literacy Corps with support from Professor of Education Charlie Temple and Professor of Public Policy Craig Rimmerman.

Tutoring Tomorrow


After snack time and group read, children at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva get ready to learn something new with a little help from the Tutor Corps – a dedicated group of 42 Hobart and William Smith students who show up at the Boys and Girls Club every school day to mentor Geneva youth.

Created by Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club Christopher Lavin ’81 last year, the Tutor Corps expands long-running academic coaching efforts and provides one-on-one sessions for elementary and middle school students in the Geneva community. Along with helping students understand and complete their homework, HWS tutors bring a more intangible goal to their tutoring sessions, which is at work when students are listened to and respected, and in the long run, inspired to succeed. Tutoring begins with Power Hour, during which students can be found workshopping writing assignments, learning tricks to memorize multiplication tables or asking their tutors a million questions – about where they’re from, how to get into college, what their dream jobs are or their favorite books. While students often begin sessions feeling squirmy and doubting they’ll know how to complete their assignments, by the end their confidence has soared. Tutors Sean McCarthy ’20 and Tatianna Suriel ’20 say they know they’ve successfully explained a concept in the moments when Aidan smiles and gives a big high-five or when Layla offers to help another peer with the assignment.

With time left for fun, HWS students and Geneva elementary and middle schoolers learn just how similar they are on the basketball courts, over games of pool and in the art room. They’ll challenge Heron basketball player Kendra Quinn-Moultrie ’18 to a game or ask Micah Holloway ’21 to read them a book, and when they pack up for the day they’ll be prepared for school in the morning. —Natalia St. Lawrence ’16

What qualities make a good tutor, student and friend?

Kendel, 1st grade: “He makes me laugh, he reads to me and we have fun doing homework.”

Micah Holloway ’21: “Wanting to explore and learn. Just like Kendel, I think learning should be seen as an academic adventure.”

In the future, how will you be of service to your community?

Bella, 4th grade: “I want to be a doctor and a ballerina.”

Mara Sindoni ’19: “Both Bella and I want to help others and contribute in various ways. As a mentor at the Boys and Girls club and as a youth basketball coach, I want to be a positive role model for youth in my community. One day I hope to be a psychologist for children and adolescents.”

What advice do you have for someone with big dreams?

Aidan, 5th grade: “Finish your math homework and try your best during Power Hour.”

Sean McCarthy ’20: “Build a foundation based on hard work and a positive attitude. One day, Aidan plans to be a lawyer, an NBA player and the President of the United States. When we work together I emphasize that he can work towards those goals every single day.”

What’s the most important lesson at the Boys and Girls Club?

D’Markos, 2nd grade: “The most important lesson is to treat everyone with respect.”

Tatianna Suriel ’20: “Learning is a choice and also a non-refundable opportunity; it can be fun and it is not all about getting a perfect grade, but about understanding new concepts, making connections, and helping yourself in the long run. Also, with the right attitude all students can attain their goals.”

“As a staff member at the Boys and Girls Club, I see firsthand the impact that the HWS Tutor Corps members have on our kids when they interact over homework help sessions or through programs in the computer room, kitchen or gym. Having HWS students as tutors for our boys and girls emphasizes that college is a place where they belong and would thrive.” –Alison Switzer ’15, site supervisor and BGC training manager

“The attention and understanding HWS tutors show to our kids has flooded their lives. They arrive each day asking, “Where’s my tutor?’’ Some of my toughest young men have been softened by the care and understanding of both Hobart and William Smith students. It has been a game changer for us.”
Christopher Lavin ’81, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.