By ANTHONY HERNANDEZ
“Not only are you your parents’ kids but you’re my kids.”
– Michelle Quesada, Career Center clerk
To those who know her, Redlands East Valley’s Michelle Quesada inspires every student she meets. She came to REV in 2009 as an Athletic Secretary from Moore Middle School due to budget cuts, where she was employed since 2002. Her official title is Typist Clerk II.
The career center offers ROP assistance to current students and to those who have graduated from REV. Quesada, along with the career center coordinator, makes appointments to talk about colleges, help with financial aid, FAFSA, SAT and ACT fee waivers, work permits and tutoring, and she coordinates with guest speakers and military personnel to come speak to students.
The Career Center is currently under construction, taking out nine desktop computers and are in the process of getting a laptop cart with 35 laptops for students’ use.
Quesada, who in her spare time likes to hike, spend time with her family and grandchildren and likes gardening, enjoys the time spent with students. She said, “The best part is to come in everyday and spend time with these kids. I enjoy hanging out, interacting and putting smiles on their faces and having them put a smile on mine.” She also states that “everybody has their challenges….not everybody will go to college. It’s great to see students helping students succeed and I see a lot of that here in the Career Center. I’d like to see the freshmen, sophomores and more juniors coming in, as the following year will be their last year here at REV and they haven’t stepped into the Career Center.”
Her message to REV students: “If you have an ROP class, are planning on going to college or just want to come in and say hello, please do so. Not only are you your parents’ kids but you’re my kids.”
Senior Alex Kristoffersen spearheads growth of REV Career Center
Q: Can you explain the tutoring programs at REV?
A: The Career Center’s after school tutoring program is the only everyday program at REV. The tutors at the Career Center are all students themselves. This is one of the best things about the Career Center, as both the tutor and the tutee are students. In addition, students that have recently gone through the process of learning a tricky topic themselves tend to explain things in a more student-friendly way. The times for the Career Center are every day from after school to 3:30.
Q: How long have you been a tutor at REV and how have things changed since you started being a tutor?
A: I started in the beginning of my junior year. Before then, I had never heard of the Career Center, and even got lost trying to find it the first time I went looking. The largest problem with the tutoring program back then was simply getting the word out. No one had any clue that such a great resource was right in our school’s office! Since then, we have exploded in size. We went from one to two tutors each day to now at least five tutors each day consistently. It has been great to see it grow!
Q: What is it like helping your peers?
A: It’s not as bad as you think! Tutoring can be a little intimidating at first; students expect you to be 100 percent on your game when it comes to what your tutoring so you have to be pretty confident in your abilities. Once I realized that all you can do is help, tutoring became a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. Many times, I’m right there learning the material with the student. I definitely feel like I’m making a difference around school, which is a great feeling.
Q: Does tutoring ever get really challenging?
A: It can get very challenging if the student does not want to learn. As a tutor, I can only give someone the tools to succeed, but they have to want to learn it. Luckily, most of the people that enter the Career Center can’t wait to learn and are excited that they can get help. This makes it really easy to tutor them and really fun for everyone.
Q: What tutoring sessions are coming up?
A: The Career Center is doing a special math tutoring session every Tuesday and Thursday after school in the upstairs conference room.