Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 5:00 pm | Fair 69º


Partners in Education Volunteer Brian Hoskins Gets as Much from Tutoring as He Gives

Classroom time at La Cumbre Junior High gives busy UCSB grad student a chance to connect with community

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

Brian Hoskins
Brian Hoskins

Brian Hoskins spends much of his time as a graduate student researcher in the UC Santa Barbara Nanofabrication Facility, studying materials for novel computation. That’s not all he does, however. At 5 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday, you can find him volunteering as a high school physics tutor with the Westside Evening Program at La Cumbre Junior High School. And he loves it.

“It’s really given me a sense of continuity,” Hoskins said.

“My graduate student schedule is really all over the place,” he continued. “Sometimes I have to work at night, other times in the early, early morning. If I didn’t have tutoring to fill out my schedule, my days would bleed together and I would just go insane.”

Hoskins volunteers with Santa Barbara Partners in Education, a nonprofit organization administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Partners in Education connects school needs with capable, enthusiastic volunteers who can help meet those needs.

      |  Partners in Education President’s Council Series |  Complete Series Index  |

“My favorite thing about Partners (in Education) is how it has created an incredibly integrated volunteer experience,” he said. “The Partners (model) makes me feel connected to everyone else all over Santa Barbara County, especially whenever Partners organizes events that draw people from all over to come together and discuss their impact on the community.”

Hoskins strives to be a positive force in his community and believes that “from those to whom much is given, much is expected.”

“When I think about how much has just been handed to me since the day I was born, I cannot help but feel a call to action,” he explained.

Hoskins finds his inspiration watching his parents, who both worked as teachers early in their careers. Now retired, they recently got involved again in education when they joined their community to save West Catholic High School in Philadelphia from closing.

“Their efforts to save one of the few successful schools in a hard-hit part of town is a constant reminder of the responsibility I have to be an active member of my community as well,” he said.

Albert Martinez, the Westside Evening Program supervisor, had much to say about Hoskins’ dedication.

“Brian has done a fantastic job!” he exclaimed. “He has really bonded with the kids and has built up a rapport with them ...

“The students are getting their work completed and they understand the material. He has been a great addition to the program.”

You only have to hear Hoskins talk about one tutoring experience to know he is making a real impact.

“One day I asked my students, who are almost always girls, why so few of the boys are coming to physics tutoring,” he recalled.

“‘They all have A’s,’ a girl said.

“I was pretty surprised by this for two reasons: One, because I’ve met some of the boys and they absolutely don’t have all A’s! Second, I was surprised that she had this kind of attitude toward physics.

“‘Well,’ I said, ‘If all the boys have A’s, then we better get to work because you’re going to have an A, too.’ After that, she got right to it.”

When asked what he has learned from volunteering, Hoskins replied, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that sometimes we set the bar too low. Students struggle, but if you give them the right help, they can really start to perform and succeed.

“We can have higher standards, but we have to be willing to help people reach them.”

                                                                  •        •        •

Santa Barbara Partners in Education is a nonprofit 501(c)3 administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Partners programs include a Volunteer Recruitment program serving K-12 public schools and nonprofit organizations; a Paid Job Readiness Training & Internship program for deserving high school students; and Computers for Families, a program working to close the digital divide.

» Click here to volunteer with Partners in Education, or call 805.964.4710 x4401.

» Connect with Partners in Education on Facebook. Follow Partners in Education on Twitter: @sbpartnersined.

» For other inquiries, contact internship program and communications coordinator Chelsea Duffy at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

      |  Partners in Education President’s Council Series |  Complete Series Index  |

— Jenae Jeppesen works with Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >