The Allbritton Spotlight: Lucy De Souza

The Allbritton Spotlight is a Q&A series highlighting students engaged in the local community through the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the Center for Community Partnerships, and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. These students dedicate their time to a diversity of projects from tutoring middle school students to advocating for sexual health education to providing translation services in Middletown! 

How long have you been a part of the program?

I’ve been a part of the tutoring program since my freshman year (super weird to think how fast time has gone by). I tutored at Woodrow my first semester at Wesleyan and then applied to be a coordinator that spring. Since then, I’ve been one of three coordinators for the program. It’s been great working both in the school and behind the scenes for 3+ years.

How did you first hear about this program and what motivated you to become involved in it?

IMG_3189I actually saw an ad for the program on Wesleying. I was looking for a work-study job and this was an awesome opportunity because I tutored a lot in high school. At home, I tutored 8th grade students for the NJASK, a state test, for 3 years. I also worked at my middle school for my senior internship, so I was happy to take a work-study job that involved teaching.

How has the program had an impact on you? What is your most memorable experience in the program?

When I was a tutor, I definitely learned a lot from my tutees. I think middle schoolers always have a lot to say and sometimes they surprise me with pretty insightful opinions. My most memorable experience was seeing my tutees finally grasp the material they were struggling with. It’s so awesome to see them get excited about mastering a tough math problem or being proud of their English project. By far, those moments were the most rewarding for the both of us. My other favorite memory is playing hangman with my tutee when he had a light work day. For the rest of the year, he would always ask to play and sometimes we would incorporate material from class. It was fun, even though I usually lost.

What kinds of relationships have you formed through your work?

I’ve met a lot of people in the Middletown community (Woodrow’s students, faculty, and staff) by being a tutor/coordinator and that’s certainly something I love about working with OCS and the Office of Community Partnerships. I think it’s great to get off of campus and interact with the people who we share Middletown with. I think Wes students tend to get trapped in the campus bubble without realizing that Middletown is a great community with a lot of things going on.

IMG_3199What advice would you give to a prospective member of this program?

Of course I would recommend this program to a prospective member! I think one-on-one mentoring is the best kind of tutoring. Some tutors have the same tutee from the their first to their last month of middle school, so that mentoring relationship becomes quite special. I think it’s also a great program for someone who is looking for a tutoring community. We are planning more events than ever before for Wesleyan tutors so that people in the program can meet each other, give each other mentoring advice, and swap stories (which are usually hilarious). My advice to prospective members is to think about the reasons why you want to tutor. If you’re looking for a tutoring experience that is more involved, this would perhaps be the program for you.

Any additional stories or comments about the program?

If you’re interesting in being involved with WWMS Tutoring Partnership, come find us in the Spring!

Do you work with CCP, OCS, or PCSE and want to be interviewed for this series? Send me an email at