The Hamilton Tutor of the Year award was established as a way to recognize and share the outstanding efforts of our tutors. As you can imagine this is a difficult process as so many people embody the spirit of this award.
In November, VEP chose Mrs. Carol Rubinger as the 2017 VEP Tutor of the Year who exemplifies the legacy and vision set forth by our founder, Mrs. June Hamilton 32 years ago.
Carol has been a friend and tutor since 2009, contributing over 1,200 hours of instruction to four VEP students, Harumi, Sabrina, Mahnaz, and Farhad. She is committed to the ideals of education and its impact upon the individuals she teaches as well as on their children and family members.
VEP recognized Carol for her passion to these ideals and the following:
- Her promotion of immigrant and refugee success;
- Her participation in VEP’s professional development workshops;
- Her involvement to promote awareness of VEP services as a WHYY on-air campaign volunteer;
- Her willingness to participate in the launch of the VEP Tutor Portal technology.
Throughout the past eight years, Carol has unselfishly shared her time and talent so that others might benefit by becoming part of the VEP experience. Thank you, Carol.
Carol (center) is surrounded her husband, Mark, daughter, granddaughters, and VEP students at the November 2017 Global Gathering.
2015: Carol Linsenman
2014: Dr. Patricia Mapps
2013: Christina vandePol
Carol Rubingers Shared Remarks
“I am thrilled to be recognized by such an important organization as VEP. When I started volunteering as a tutor many years ago, I thought it would be a nice way to help people, with a skill that I didn’t even have to think about.
Speaking English is not something I had to learn in school. It was a part of me from the day I was born, when my parents and everyone around me talked to me. It was totally natural. When I was older and tried to learn to speak another language, I was shocked to see how difficult it was.
In my adult life, I have lived in many different places in this country. Each time I moved, I found that even though I was still in the same country speaking the same language, things could be very different. Sometimes it took months to feel comfortable in my new home. Therefore, I feel incredible respect and awe for those of you who have come here from other countries, where English was not your first language and where you are trying to make a new life in America.
After these many years of tutoring, here are some of the things I have learned.
For the students:
- It will take a long time to feel comfortable speaking English, so give yourself time.
- The best way to learn a language is to listen, listen, listen.
- Learning English is also learning a culture. So watch American TV, watch American movies, make American friends.
- Your tutors are here to help you in every way, so use us. Call us when you don’t understand something that is happening – it can be a letter you receive, something someone said to you, a phone message you don’t understand, advice on how to handle school or work situations in our culture.
- We’re on your side and you are our heroes!
For the tutors:
I know I am speaking for all of you by saying that we learn as much, or more from our students as they learn from us.
- They help us see our culture through new eyes and many times examine the reasons we do things the way we do.
- Sometimes it means getting out of our comfort zones – which is a good thing.
- We get to learn about other cultures, other places, and best of all, other foods!
- But, I think the biggest benefit of tutoring is expanding our families to include our new friends.
Organizations like VEP are especially important today, in the 21st century, when it only takes a few hours to be on the other side of the world, and when immigration is such a large part of our national conversation. We, in this room, know that we are all alike. We know that we can help each other and learn from each other and accept each other. And everyone here today is helping to spread that message.
Thank you to VEP, and all the amazing students and tutors.