Cluster Tutoring is honored to be the recipient of the Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence from Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth. Cluster received the award, along with a check for $5,000, at the group’s Spring Awards Dinner on May 4. The Demetrio Award is awarded every year to outstanding tutoring and mentoring programs in Chicago.
Tutor Ted Fordney attended the dinner with his student, aspiring attorney and 8th-grader Jaylan S. Both gave speeches, and here are some excerpts from Jaylan’s speech, for which he received a standing ovation.
“The things that Cluster offers to students who attend the program are great advantages, celebrations of the students’ achievements, and a strong sense of bonding with their tutors. … I was introduced to the Just The Beginning law camp that I attended last summer, and I hope to attend this upcoming summer as well. I always have had an interest in the profession of law, and the JTB opportunity gave me one more step forward in pursuing that profession. …
“Another advantage is helping students improve their test scores, and not for just me. I have a cousin that attends the program and her test scores have improved tremendously over the years, which gave her the opportunity to attend a great high school. My test scores have steadily improved as well. Another advantage it gives is a huge help in completing our homework assignments.
“We work on our homework with our tutors. Cluster gives us the tools to be able to do that. For example, we can sign up for a computer to complete our online assignments. … My tutor stays on top of me and takes time out of his busy schedule to help me outside of tutoring. I feel really comfortable working with my tutor and I see this with other students as well.” Jaylan will attend the Prosser Career Academy in the fall, enrolled in its International Baccalaureate program.
Several Cluster lawyers are long-time tutors and are pictured below with their students.
The executive director of Lawyers Lend-A-Hand is Kathryn McCabe, former executive director of Cluster.