Since I’ve moved to Detroit two years ago, I have served and worked with students in a variety of capacities. Most recently, I volunteer weekly at Downtown Boxing Gym Youth program tutoring third and fourth grade students math and reading comprehension. The students bring so much light and love and working with them is consistently a highlight of my week.

Last week, I helped a small group of students work on the math challenge problem of the day. As we were going through the problem, I started to notice that one of the students wasn’t quite grasping the concept of borrowing when subtracting numbers.

After we finished the challenge problem, I did a mini-lesson with the student on borrowing and then had him practice on a white board. Another student saw us practicing and came over to enthusiastically ask if he could join in the math practice. I gave him multiplication problems and they both set out with furrowing brows, to solve the math problems in front of them.

By the end of the lesson, both boys were excited to learn new concepts and proud of the work they had accomplished. I love seeing students grasp and enjoy math because math confidence is something most of my students struggle with. It’s a joy to see their light bulbs go off one they have mastered a skill. I was reminded that we only stop learning and growing if we decide to.

Through Challenge Detroit and my other time spent in the city, I’m always being pushed to expand what I think I can do and grow as an individual. There are always opportunities to learn new things about the city and contribute to the work being done. What are ways you want to learn and grow in this city?