Volunteers Play a Key Role

Caption: Tutor Nancy O’Donohue with MCNDHS students Claude Barthelemy, Jarai Barrie, and Aissatou Barry

CDI couldn’t do the work we do without our extensive network of over 250 volunteers – which includes our Board members who contribute time and expertise, corporate volunteers at organizations like BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, Accenture, and Selina, the volunteers who conduct college prep and mock interview events at our three school sites, and the tutors who help students pass the classes they need and graduate in time. As an organization, CDI grew out of the tutoring program at Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School 25 years ago. Volunteer Coordinator Robi Jaffrey says “It’s a fun and fulfilling experience for both the students and the tutors,” and shares some more insights on the process.

Serving a diverse student population

“A large portion of the student population at MCNDHS are recent immigrants. It’s a fascinating community for the tutors to work with – there are so many different languages, and students from all over the world. The volunteers are college students, people with full-time jobs, and retired professionals. The thing that unifies them is that they all want to give back to young people. Tutors specialize in everything from Regents exams prep, English language conversation and writing, to sciences, math, US and global history. As a day and night school, we serve students Monday through Friday, anywhere from 9.30 AM to 8 PM, and we work around everyone’s schedules to make this possible.”

Providing a supportive and productive space for students and volunteers

“We’re very hands on and make sure we have great communication with everyone. We do an in-depth matching process where we evaluate every factor, including

  • what a student needs
  • what a tutor is good at
  • language ability
  • scheduling
  • personality matches between students and tutors.

We really value our volunteers’ time and efforts, so we make sure that the students commit to their tutoring and show up on time. Tutors see the same students every week, so they’re able to build strong bonds. And students get invaluable academic help to sharpen their skills, as well as a great opportunity for connection and stability with their tutor.”

If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to RobiJaffrey@cdi-ny.org and he will reach out to you.

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Without the support of each and every one of our individual donors, the stories you read about and the programs that make an impact in the lives of our young people would not be possible. Click here to make a contribution to CDI today!