When Roberts Viguls, an 18-year-old senior at Fairfield Prep, was looking for a volunteer opportunity to fulfill his school’s requirements, he decided to look for something that aligned with his interest in tutoring. That educational focus led him to FCA’s ASPIRE after-school program, where he has been volunteering since the fall of 2019.
Each week, Roberts sits with the middle school students in ASPIRE and helps with their homework. He is particularly popular with the students when they have math questions, and he enjoys playing basketball with the students during their enrichment periods.
He has even developed a particularly close relationship with one student, Diego, after they worked together on a long social studies project.
“Now every time I see him he runs up to me and high-fives me. It’s great,” said Roberts.
As Roberts is helping teach the students math, social studies, English, and other subjects, he is learning some life lessons himself. He said the biggest skill he has developed is dealing with different kinds of people and teaching students who all learn in different ways.
For the kids who struggle with motivation, Roberts said he tries to change their perspective, reminding them that the sooner they finish their work the sooner they can draw, play board games, or go to the gym. It’s a tactic he has even used on himself when he has a project due and the temptation to watch sports or play video games hits.
The ASPIRE program, where 100% of high school seniors graduate and go on to college or career training, has also left an impression on Roberts. “Every single day the majority of kids have smiles on their faces and they are laughing with each other. It seems like everyone is happy to be here,” he said.
“It’s just an overall great experience. If there’s one place I had to volunteer for the rest of my life it would have to be here,” he said.
Roberts plans to take a gap year after high school to play for the Connecticut Rough Riders, an Eastern Hockey League Tier III team. After, he plans to study business data analytics.
Thank you to Roberts for his hours of dedication and the effort he has put into connecting with our students!