Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

Students Volunteer at We Care; Create Website for the Tutoring Program

Friday, January 02, 2015

Students Volunteer at We Care

Tracy Baird Empsall ’14, a recent graduate of the secondary education program at the Watson College, has created a website to promote the We Care Tutoring Program:http://wecareafterschool.wix.com/tutoring

The program provides tutoring free of charge for students of all ages on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, thanks to dedicated volunteers from the Watson College and the community. The center is housed at St. Ephesus Church at Castle and 10th streets in Wilmington.

Carl Newton, who grew up in the neighborhood and is the graduation coach at J.T. Hoggard High School, was inspired to create a free tutoring center so children would have a safe place to go and receive help with schoolwork. In 2013, Newton contacted WCE professor Janna Robertson and St. Ephesus Pastor Steven Gates for assistance.

Gates offered the church location, and Empsall and James Bryson ’14 responded immediately to Robertson’s call for student volunteers.

Since the program had no funding, Empsall, Bryson and Newton worked to attract donations including computers, and to recruit additional student and community volunteers. The center opened in November 2013. During the spring 2014 semester, WCE students volunteered eight to 10 hours a week, tutoring 25 children ranging in age from 5 to 18.

During the fall 2014 semester, students enrolled in the secondary education program at the college have provided ongoing support for the program.

Newton and Robertson said the experience has been beneficial for all involved. “It is an opportunity to connect with kids; to be a pioneer in their life, planting seeds of hope. It is a realization that they can achieve anything through knowledge,” Newton said.

Empsall, who has maintained ties to the center, recently thanked Robertson for the opportunity to help create the program in the fall of 2013. “That is an amazing group of kids and volunteers,” she said. “We Care has truly changed my life in amazing ways.”

For more information, visit the We Care website at http://wecareafterschool.wix.com/tutoring or Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/wecareafterschool.

Students interested in volunteering should contact the program directly atwecareafterschool@gmail.com.

Caption (L-R):  Pastor Seven Gates, students Jazmine, Saira, Tyreke, Tyshawn, and TJ, with tutor Amanda Corbin (current English MAT at UNCW)