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Free tutoring program in San Francisco boosting students in under-resourced communities

Free tutoring in San Francisco gives middle schoolers a boost
Free tutoring in San Francisco gives middle schoolers a boost 02:54

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sometimes students need a little more help outside of the classroom and the home, but the costs of a tutor can be prohibitive. A free tutoring program in San Francisco is helping solve that problem.

Seventh-grader Shamira Dickerson is your typical middle schooler and can make new friends anywhere. Several hours a week after school, she comes to 826 Valencia where she gets free, one-on-one tutoring.

"I have gotten better, and I like to write more," said Dickerson. "I didn't like journaling, but I like journaling now. And I like to talk about my life."

The nonprofit offers programs and learning opportunities for under-resourced communities, kids aged 6 through 18, prioritizing people of color with financial and academic needs.

"I have my favorite tutor which is Camilia," Dickerson said. "I love how like they listen to me and they are so passionate about things."

The after-school tutoring is made up of volunteers like Camilia. Right now, they are in need of more volunteers to meet the growing waiting list of students.

Camilia says she has noticed improvement in the young scholar's work since she began working with her in February.

"I have seen obvious improvements in Shamira," Camilia said. "Just like real stamina in her ability to focus for long periods of time and get real good work done."

Her father, Reginald Dickerson, says he sees a change in his daughter.

"This is the first time ever I have noticed that she is excited about learning," he said. "It's been many, many years since she has had that kind of excitement."

The center is hoping that more people in the community step up and become future volunteer tutors.

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