Volunteer Spotlight: WilmerHale

Last school year marked yet another successful partnership year with WilmerHale LLP.  The relationship was established by co-founder and former WilmerHale lawyer, Mr. David Domenici, and has since become a mainstay in academic support for our students. For many years now, Maya Angelou students have participated in WilmerHale’s Tutoring Program every Monday evening. Each year, counselors and administrators at the school identify students they feel have demonstrated a particular commitment to their academics and could benefit greatly from additional, outside support. This year, we had nearly twenty students (grades 10 -12) attend the weekly one-on-one sessions at WilmerHale’s Washington D.C. office.

Many participants shared that they were especially excited to work with WilmerHale’s accomplished attorneys. For some students, these relationships have been instrumental in helping them persevere through challenges at home or with difficult classes. For others, the firm’s attorneys represent the pinnacle of career success, and many students have used the time to formulate their own career goals.

When asked to share a few words about her experience with the program, Tenika Ottley says she owes much of her success these last four years to Ms. Gayle. “Ms. Gayle has encouraged me and has shown me that she truly cares about me! I want to thank her for everything!”

Senior, Geraldine Bolden was grateful for the opportunity to work with Mr. Ben on developing effective interview strategies.  Geraldine was named Salutatorian of the Maya Angelou Public Charter High School Class of 2015, and she credits much of her preparation and success to her tutor.

Shakira Hawkins has aspirations of becoming a Veterinarian one day, and loves that she can “pick the brain” of someone she respects and admires. Shakira thanks her mentor for holding her accountable and not allowing her to rest on her laurels, despite already receiving good grades at Maya Angelou. Shakira received the highest honor of class Valedictorian this past June, and also credited much of her success to her wonderful mentor at WilmerHale.

If you are interested in tutoring or mentoring our students in various capacities this upcoming school year, please email Ms. Jazmin Dekle at jdekle@seeforever.org.

– Kamal Wright-Cunningham, Ph.D, Director of Socio-Emotional Learning and Culture, Maya Angelou High School