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Partners in Education Volunteer Spotlight: Basel Alderi

Inspired by teachers who loved math and science, Franklin School volunteer hopes to inspire the next generation

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series on Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteers. This article is sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, a Partners in Education President’s Council member.]

Basel Alderi
Basel Alderi

After graduating from UCSB with a degree in Computational Mathematics, Basel Alderi decided to become more involved in the community by volunteering as a tutor through Santa Barbara Partners in Education, a local nonprofit administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. He worked with a Partners in Education volunteer coordinator and was soon assigned to a fourth-grade classroom at Franklin Elementary School on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside.

Alderi was drawn to tutoring younger children for a variety of reasons.

“I see a lot of potential in children, and I think that more often than not all you have to do is spend a little extra time with them to try to capture their interest, and you’ll take them from passively listening to curiously wanting to learn,” he explained.

“I honestly believe that the main reason I got into math and science is due to a few wonderful teachers who captured my imagination and interest as I progressed through school, and I simply wanted to pass it forward and possibly help inspire a child in the same way that I was inspired.”

Although he attempts to make a difference on his own, Alderi believes that if more people start to volunteer, the success of future generations may be ensured.

“If more and more people take interest in our youth and try to encourage them to want to learn and discover, then we can build a solid generation, capable of doing some real, tangible good in the world,” he said.

Alderi believes that volunteers affect students in a unique way.

“I would hope that volunteers have not only helped students with questions in the subjects they’re learning, but also have, in one way or another, encouraged them and gave them confidence to try (new things), despite the possibility of failing or being wrong.” he said. “I, for example, keep telling the kids I work with that it’s not the answer that matters, but the learning that we do to get there.

“Once children know that there’s nothing wrong with trial and error, their confidence grows and they are more interested in and less frightened by difficult subjects like math and science.”

Alderi credits Partners in Education with the successful experience he has had as a volunteer and with moving our community in the right direction to support public education.

“I can’t over-emphasize the importance of organizations like Partners in Education,” he said. “I have a degree in mathematics and am fairly good at what I do, but I haven’t a clue about how and where to volunteer, which schools need volunteers to help them, and how I can apply my skills to help these schools.

“If it weren’t for Partners in Education’s constant assistance, I may have been discouraged from volunteering and never would had a chance to help or experience the joy that comes from helping.”

Due to his positive experience, Alderi plans to continue his volunteer work.

“Because of Partners in Education, I’ll be continuing my volunteer work throughout the summer, and I am planning to come back and volunteer for Franklin Elementary for the next academic year,” he exclaimed.

                                                                  •        •        •

» Click here for more information on Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

» Click here for more information on how to become a President’s Council member or contact Michelle Magnusson, development and membership director, at 805.964.4710 x4417 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

» Connect with Partners in Education on Facebook.

— Michaela Ford is a senior at Santa Barbara High School and a Santa Barbara Partners in Education intern through the Partners Job Readiness & Internship Program. Partners in Education programs are administered under the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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