Cubs provide HSPT tutoring to local youth

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By Justin Wallender

Since the beginning of September, Cubs have tutored approximately 600 eighth-graders who are participating in Loyola’s High School Placement Test program (HSPT).

According to Community Service Coordinator Mrs. Angela Moran, these eighth grade students come from more than 40 Catholic schools in the greater Los Angeles area, including St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Odilia School, and St. Paul School.

Mrs. Moran said that the Community Service department has offered this service program for 16 years. “When they first started this program, we were one of the only schools that offered it in the local area,” said Mrs. Moran.

On the HSPT tutoring days, volunteers arrive on campus at 7:45 a.m. and finish their service at 12:45 p.m. “Each freshman at Loyola is required to do at least two sessions of this program, but there are students that go above and beyond to volunteer for five or six sessions,” said Mrs. Moran.

“Most of the eighth-grade students that go through this program actually end up scoring very well on the HSPT, and some even get accepted into Loyola.”

Eighth-grader Kobe Cea from Our Lady of Loretto School in Los Angeles, said that he enrolled in this program because he wanted to gain the knowledge needed to pass the HSPT so that he could become a stronger applicant while applying to Loyola.

In addition to learning about the HSPT, Cea said he enjoyed learning about the high school experience from his tutors. “I like being tutored by high school students because I get to ask them questions about high school and what the transition is like,” he said.

PHOTO BY JUSTIN WALLENDER

PHOTO BY JUSTIN WALLENDER

Loyola students are organized into groups of four and assigned to a classroom with 20 eighth graders to tutor in math and English. In math, the students are taught basic algebra and some geometry skills, such as ratios, absolute values and fraction problems. In English, students look over vocabulary words, read passages and discuss comprehension questions.

Senior Lucas Orman, who returned to volunteer with the program, said, “As a freshman, it was challenging at first, but coming back as a senior, I know how to handle difficult situations. It was cool to see that one of the kids who I tutored got accepted into Loyola and to see him now tutoring eighth grade students.”

Mrs. Moran said, “The student body is really the foundation of the HSPT tutoring program; however, this program couldn’t take place without the help from the Loyola community at large, funding from St. Ignatius Guild and Mother’s Guild, alumni help, and Loyola parents who help chaperone the classrooms.” In addition, the participating schools also send principals, faculty members and parent volunteers to assist in chaperoning the tutoring program.

Freshman Matthew Conde said that he found the program rewarding. “The volunteer experience showed me that I can use God’s given talents to help make a better tomorrow for others, and I hope to volunteer again,” said Conde.

According to Community Service Director Mr. Tom Zeko, “Students still have the opportunity to participate in and to support this valuable community service program,” as one more session still remains to take place on Saturday, Nov. 14.

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