By Adrianna Nehme
“The decision to commit [to FORA] was a no brainer. When my family and I came to the United States, my most formative experiences came from my patient teachers who taught me resilience and love for education. I want to give back this same experience that my teachers gave to me, and FORA was the opportunity to do so.” —Paranjaya
Paranjaya, a math tutor for FORA, looks back fondly on the volunteer experience she gained in high school, working with a group to bring necessities to the refugee community in Dallas, Texas. She reminisces on how the refugee families were so welcoming and invited them into their homes, and although she was meant to be a volunteer, the families were the ones to give and teach her so much.
Before the pandemic, Paranjaya also volunteered as a peer mentor and “reading buddy” at an elementary school. When the pandemic impacted her ability to volunteer with the program, she still wanted to have the opportunity to help students, and so after finding FORA online, she decided to apply.
When tutoring, she looks forward to the “aha” moments, and when her student explains to her how she got the right answer. She also loves listening to her tutees' thought process, allowing her tutee to take on the role of the teacher. The highlight of her experience has been watching her tutee get more comfortable in her abilities and conversational skills.
For those who would like to tutor in the future, Paranjaya says to remember that not every day will go perfectly — however, she mentions that it is important to remain encouraging and supportive, always role-modeling the importance of not giving up.
In her free time, Paranjaya loves being in nature, and since she lives close to large trails, she has started bringing a camera with her on hikes to capture the scenery.