04/22/11 — Helping hands: Volunteers offer schools the chance to help more students

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Helping hands: Volunteers offer schools the chance to help more students

It is called giving back -- and those who were among the many volunteers who were nominated for the Wayne County Schools 2011 Volunteer of the Year understand just how important those two words can be.

And the winner, Jerome Tan, a native of the Philippines, has proven that not only can someone make a difference in the lives of struggling Wayne County students, but he or she can do so humbly and without any need to be acknowledged.

Tan, who had no idea he had been selected to receive the top volunteer honor, was touched when he received the recognition from his school and his peers this week. It was a sign at just how self-less he truly is. He never imagined for a minute the honor was for him.

This tutor, who was an accountant before he came to the U.S., spends time helping students who are struggling with math, giving them the support they need to master the skills they will need throughout their educational career.

He also shares his knowledge with behaviorally and academically challenged students, helping them earn better grades and test scores.

And after he received the district honor, Tan shared it and his school award with his two sons. They were visibly proud of their dad, as they should be.

There are many people making a difference in the county schools. But many of those volunteers will say that they get as much out of helping as the students get from the help.

We feel sure Jerome Tan would agree.

Published in Editorials on April 22, 2011 11:22 AM