We have a lot of amazing volunteer academic mentors. Every week, they dedicate time to helping a student, or a small group of students succeed in school. The work that all of our volunteers do is inspiring and we hope that they think so too. At times we are lucky enough to get a glimpse of how meaningful the experience is to our volunteers- often when they seize an opportunity to go above and beyond the one hour a week expectation. The story we’re sharing with you today is certainly an example of how a volunteer, inspired by his experience working with students, far surpassed the expectations and brought something to a school that all of the students may remember for years to come.
Meet our volunteer, Alex Ullman. Alex is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a second semester student at Berklee College of Music. This is Alex’s first year volunteering with Boston Partners in Education. Once a week he tutors three sophomores in English at the Boston Community Leadership Academy through our Aim High program. Aim High is part of our School Volunteer Program and is implemented at BCLA; Aim High specifically helps students prepare for the MCAS, and through the program, do better in their classes too. Over time, Alex noticed that the students he was working with, and others as well, were genuinely interested in his musical career and his experiences at Berklee. Alex wanted to bring something special to the students at BCLA.
Here’s the project in Alex’s own words:
Here’s a clip of The Love Experiment
Along with the performance there was an informal discussion about college and careers in music and the performing arts. The students loved it. The crowd went wild, getting to their feet and cheering! When it came time to engage with the band, students asked questions about writing music, how to start a band, how well the band members got along. The Love Experiment was able to inspire students and also give them insight on a musical career.
This is what the students had to say about the performance:
“The performance inspired me to do my own music.”
“I liked how it was different than things on the radio.”
“The performance made me want to do something with my life.”
“The music was AWESOME!”
The very first question a BCLA student asked the drummer of The Love Experiment was simply, “Why are you here?” The drummer’s response, “There’s a guy who volunteers at your school, his name is Alex Ullman…”