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Swarthmore College
AP Scholar with Honor, National Merit Commendation, English Prize, St. Albans Choral Medal, Koch Fellowship for excellence in expository writing funding summer study in Oxford, Robert C. Byrd Merit Scholarship, Modern European History Prize, National Academy of Arts and Letters Certificate of Merit in Cello and Voice
I am a graduate of Swarthmore College, where I received Highest Honors in History and the Milton Troy Music Prize for my original thesis on French modernist composer Germaine Tailleferre. I have over six years of experience as a tutor, beginning at Swarthmore where I spent three years as a Writing Associate, providing individual writing assistance to students working on academic papers and graduate school personal statements. Since graduation, I have gone on to work with an elite Washington, DC tutoring company as a tutor and college essay specialist, and at John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a Writing Associate. Also a graduate of the National Cathedral School, I won school prizes in Modern European History, English, Instrumental (cello), and Vocal Music and was the recipient of a Koch Fellowship for summer study in Oxford, based on an essay competition. A Cathedral Chorister for eight years, I now sing professionally at the National Cathedral in Washington and St. Bartholomew’s in New York. I am pursuing voice studies at Westminster Choir College, where I recently performed at Carnegie Hall with the Vienna Philharmonic. History and Music have been my passions for as long as I can remember, and I have always loved to write. While working with a range of students at Swarthmore —from engineering and physics majors to history and English majors— I took great pleasure in helping even those who don’t love to write (or think they can’t) refine arguments and work on expressing themselves more eloquently. As a tutor, I work to systematically target and improve clients’ test taking and writing abilities, giving them the skills they need to succeed in standardized testing and writing. Discovering how to best make the material sing for each student is sometimes challenging but is always ultimately a rewarding experience; it is what fuels my passion for teaching.
Princeton University
National Achievement Scholar, National Merit Finalist, STAR Scholarship Recipient (2010, 2011)
I have experience working with elementary, middle, and high school students through after school programs, National Honor Society tutoring programs, and private tutoring. I have tutored students in a wide array of subjects from English to Chemistry and many subjects in between. Furthermore, I have had extensive experience editing essays, grant proposals, and articles through my classes and summer internships. Over the years I have come to enjoy helping students find success in every subject – no matter how insurmountable a challenge may seem at first. Having sought the help of tutors myself, I understand the importance of having not just any tutor, but someone who is reliable, enthusiastic, and relentless: someone a student can feel comfortable with enough to ask anything, someone who can ask the right questions to help a student understand the concepts, someone who is patient and will continue to put in the necessary effort until each challenge is tackled. I am looking forward to making a difference in the lives of students in the Princeton area the way my tutors made a difference in mine.
Princeton University, Notre Dame
CollegeBoard National Hispanic Scholar, President of Future Business Leaders of America, Baccalaureate Speaker at graduation, Honors in French Language and Literature
Valerie has eight years of language teaching experience. She also independently tutored students of various ages, ranging from 7 to 78, in Spanish, English, and French. Throughout her years of teaching, she has created, reviewed, and revised numerous examinations, quizzes, lesson plans, and activities to advance the learning of many diverse students. Additionally, she has taken pedagogy courses at the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Notre Dame and numerous seminars at the McGraw Center at Princeton University. Additionally, she spent 10 years living in Mexico, several months living in France, and 20 years living in the United States among international communities; these experiences have given her a unique and nuanced cultural and linguistic knowledge. She also has 8 years of experience editing student work. She looks forward to working with you!
Princeton University
Honor Roll (4/4 years), Cum Laude, AP Scholar with Distinction, 2nd highest score in the nation for Le Grand Concours Level 2 National French Exam, Top scorer in the Diplôme D’Études de La Langue Française (DELF), France’s profiency exam, in the southeast region of Nigeria, Inducted into National Spanish and French Honors Language Societies, Recipient of the Harvard-Westlake Fredrick Douglass Diversity Award
I started tutoring in high school where I was a member of my school’s peer tutoring organization. This experience was exciting and interesting for me; I had to simultaneously develop learning strategies for myself while finding creative methods to teach content to peers. Throughout this experience, I would devise different strategies for different subjects and integrate them into my own approach to learning, and then I would recommend various strategies to my tutees. For learning new languages I found immersing myself in the language as much as possible was key: I would talk, write, and listen as much as possible in a given language. I would write e-mails to the teachers entirely in Spanish or French, watch films of these languages without subtitles, and create a plethora of vocabulary and grammar flashcards. For math and sciences, I would create study guides with lists of systematic strategies and categorize problem types in order to gain a greater understanding of the subject and develop greater problem solving skills. Such strategies would allow me to present information comprehensively while also allowing me to break down the material into smaller steps for students who were struggling. No single method works for every student, so I utilize a coaching approach, working with students to develop interesting new strategies to tackle their difficulties in a productive and empowering manner.
Princeton University
Harry F. Byrd Leadership Award Recipient, 1st Place National Technology Bowl, 2nd place state Virginia High School League Extemporaneous Speech, 2013 Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholar, Virginia Boys State Participant
In high school, I was fortunate enough to be an active member of the Virginia Technology Student Association, and was elected by my peers to be the State Secretary and then State President of that organization. Through my time as a state officer, I was able to plan and carry out three different state leadership academies, where I was able to teach and interact with hundreds of students from across the state. As a Boy Scout from Troop 38 in Bridgewater, VA, I was able to attain the rank of Eagle Scout before turning my attention to the younger scouts in my troop and helping enable them to also climb to the rank of Eagle through the sharing of experiences and many hours of teaching and training. It is a personal philosophy of mine to try and use my knowledge and experience to help anyone who wishes to grow, improve, or engage themselves with the world in a new way. I love interacting with new information, and I find that the best way to master a subject is to engage with the material and then take what you have learned and teach it to others. I truly enjoy teaching, and especially take interest in working with calculus, physics, environmental science, and critical reading. I am currently studying computer science at Princeton and have a particular interest in robotics and sustainable energy.
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